Reviews

Oscar Recap, Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street★★★½ Hollywood 360 Radio Network Podcast

Hi Carl and Hi to all of your listeners out there. I’m not sure how many of you watched the Oscars last week, as it was a great night for me; I was in the virtual Oscar Pressroom meeting the winners after they were presented with their awards.

As part of the Oscar press, I was able to ask questions and listen to all answers. And the best part share their excitement!

Most of you know the winners so I won’t repeat those; I do want to say that “Nomadland” was a Big Winner taking home three top awards,
Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Director. Check out my Oscar article on Sarahs Backstage Pass.com

Next up my review of “Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street,” rated PG. The documentary story tells us the thought process behind the creation of the TV show in the 60s and how by the 70s, it was a household name. Interviews both new and archival tell the story in an easy-going format.

The show was created for children, and it didn’t talk down to its audience; it taught them important lessons on race, tolerance, and matters of life and death, while also teaching them their ABCs and how to count.
Marilyn Agrelo directs this love letter to “Sesame Street” and its cast of characters based on the book by Michael Davis. You may be surprised of the target audience for those who grew up watching the show either with their kids or as kids. Producers designed Sesame Street to look like an inner-city neighborhood, complete with trash cans and grouches. The set was modeled after a Harlem street corner in New York. The racially integrated cast served as an identifier as kids could see themselves. The show was ahead of its time in terms of casting racial equality.

The Bottom line: I’m all in, 3 and ½ stars out of 4. I appreciated the film footage of Jim Henson and the other puppeteers in action on set.

Here’s an outstanding look at how to help our children grow and learn in positive ways.
Thanks so much for listening in tonight; this is Sarah Knight Adamson, your film and TV critic, and I’ll see you next week.

Check out the radio podcast on Hollywood 360 Radio Network: http://bit.ly/OscarRecap-StreetGangH360

Sarah Knight Adamson© May 7, 2021

93rd Academy Awards 2021, a View From the Virtual Oscar Press Office

Oscars 2021-Reporting for Hollywood 360 Radio Network

Sunday, April 25, 2021, the day of the Academy Awards, began with a familiarity of anticipation that I have come to expect over the years—except this year was different, I was accepted to be a virtual member of the Oscars press. My day in New Buffalo, Michigan began by searching for a halo light to improve my Zoom video quality, and luck was on my side as I purchased one locally. The night before was spent rearranging furniture to prepare a suitable backdrop and workspace for an 8-hour stretch that encompassed viewing Red Carpet arrivals, Oscar-nominated song performances, interviewing winners, all while downloading photos, videos, and transcripts. By far, the most challenging job was toggling back and forth between the live Oscar show and the Oscar media room. All and all, the experience is one I will treasure, and I look forward to the day I will be able to report in Hollywood, California.

New Buffalo, Michigan–Lake Michigan sunset view, Saturday, April 24, 2021. Sarah Knight Adamson Photo Credit
Settling into the press room involved being on top of the situation and listening to instructions; we were guided like a well-oiled machine. I prepared questions for all 25 winners and delighted in hearing their answers as they spoke to the press. To experience their visual elation just moments after an Oscar win and to listen to their profound gratitude heightened my experience of viewing the Oscars all the years, as I’ve watched the show since I was ten years old while living in Los Angeles. Truly, this reporter felt a full-circle moment in my career, and I am grateful to be accepted among such esteemed journalists.
Sarah Knight Adamson, April 25, 2021

Protocol consisted of viewing a title card that announced who was stepping into the virtual press room, headphones were suggested as they reduced the chance of feedback. In terms of stepping, this is an accurate account as talent walked in front of an Oscar designed backdrop holding their Oscars and spoke to talent as they watched a large screen. The backdrop served two purposes, one for photos and speaking with press. Talent was announced, hands were raised, questions were asked. No follow-up questions were allowed, if your hand was raised and you were cued, and you were expected to ready to speak—while most importantly be in front of your camera and ready to go.

The winners have been announced for some time now. My Hollywood 360 Radio Network segment this Saturday night will cover a snapshot of my reporting, snippets of transcribed Oscar acceptance speeches, Oscar press room questions, and answers, along with standout highlights of the Oscar show and the backstage interviews.

Daniel Kaluuya, Best Supporting Actor for “Judas and the Black Messiah

Daniel Kaluuya won early in the evening, taking home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for “Judas and the Black Messiah.” He gave a heartfelt acceptance speech thanking God, his mom, and his family. Here is a segment of his speech that focuses on the film:

“Chairman Fred Junior and Mama Akua, thank you so much for allowing us into your life and into your story. Thank you for trusting us with your truth. I appreciate you deeply, and it’s an honor to partner up and stand side by side with you. And to Chairman Fred Hampton. Bro, man. Man, what a man. He was on this earth for 21 years, and he found a way to feed kids breakfast, educate kids, give free medical care, against all the odds. He showed me, he taught me him. Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, the Black Panther Party. They showed me how to love myself. And with that love, they overflowed into the black community and into other communities. And they showed us that the power of union, the power of unity, that when they play divide and conquer, we say unite and ascend.

Thank you so much for showing me myself. And yeah, man, there’s so much work to do guys, and that’s on everyone in this room, this ain’t no single man job. I look at this room, and I look at everyone, every single one of you, you got work to do, you know what I’m saying.”

Red Carpet arrivals Oscars 2021 Chole Zhao writer/directer Nomadland and Joshua James Richards, Cinematographer: Nomadland.

“Nomadland” the big winner of the evening, taking home the Best Picture, Best Director, and the Best Actress Oscars. Writer/director/producer Chole Zhao, appeared in the press room numerous times.

Here is a question that was asked after she won Best Director:

Q. Talk to me about all of this history coming your way all at once. How does it feel? I mean, you have literally smashed this glass ceiling that we often talk about. Tell me about what’s coursing through your veins right now.

A. Well, you know, I feel I’m very lucky I have parents who have always told me that who you are is enough, you know, and who I who you are is your art, you know? So I always try to stay true to myself and be surrounded by really great, supportive, talented people, so I really share this moment with them.

“Minari” Yuh-Jung Young, Best Supporting Actress winner. Director Lee Isaac Chung Credit: Courtesy of A24

Yuh-Jung Youn, the feisty grandmother in Minari, captured not only her grandson’s heart in the film she went home with an Oscar for her Best Supporting Actress role. Brad Pitt presented her the award as he was a producer of the film. Youn said in her acceptance speech that she does not believe in competition; she does not believe that her performance is better than Glen Close or the other nominees. Here are a few questions she answered in the press room.

Brad Pitt, right, poses with Yuh-Jung Youn, winner of the award for best actress in a supporting role for “Minari,” in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Union Station in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, Pool)

Q. Congratulations on such a historic win. You created the Oscar-winning grandma. What was the biggest challenge you faced in your acting career, and what did you get from (inaudible)?

A. Well, it’s not happened right at the moment because I had a long career. I’m trying to do my career, you know, step by step. And just sometimes it’s happy, very happy, when you get it. But for me, myself, I don’t believe in competition, especially in our field, because we are comparing a different movie. I’m just lucky tonight, just luckier than the other nominees, luckier than them. And maybe, who knows, it’s American hospitality for the Korean actor, I think.

Q. Congratulations on your win tonight. Brad Pitt was a producer on Minari, and you just met him for the first time. What was that like, and if you could do a movie with him, what genre would you choose?

A. That will never happen with my English and age, you know. I don’t think so, no.

Makeup and Hairstyling won the Oscar for the film “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, that consisted of fitting actress Viola Davis with a full set of gold teeth. Mia Neal’s acceptance speech spoke to people of color and their representation in the future.

Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson are the first Black women to win in the Hair and Makeup category. Makeup artist Sergio Lopez-Rivera also won.

MIA NEAL:
“I was raised by my grandfather, James Holland. He was an original Tuskegee Airman. He represented the U.S. in the first Pan Am Games. He went to Argentina. He met Evita. He graduated from Northwestern University at the time that they did not allow Blacks to stay on campus, so he stayed at the YMCA. And after all of his accomplishments, he went back to his hometown in hopes of becoming a teacher. But they did not hire Blacks in the school system. So I want to say thank you to our ancestors who put the work in, were denied but never gave up.

And I also stand here as Jamika and I break this glass ceiling with so much excitement for the future. Because I can picture Black trans women standing up here and Asian sisters and our Latino sisters and indigenous women. And I know that one day it won’t be unusual or groundbreaking; it will just be normal. Thank you to the Academy, to Netflix, to Denzel Washington, to George C. Wolfe, to Ann Roth, to Miss Viola Davis, to Matiki Anoff, to Andrea Resnick, to the spirit of Ma Rainey. Thank you.”

Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman” wins Best Original Screenplay

The Best Original Screenplay Oscar went to Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman” she started by saying, “I didn’t think I was going to win, so I don’t have a speech prepared, and I’m going to be in trouble with Steven Soderbergh [Oscar Producer]. I’m so sorry; I don’t want him to be cross with me.”

She continued, “This film was made by the most incredible people in the world, who made it in 23 days. They brought their complete genius and love and humor to it. And I have so many people to thank. I feel mortified that I’m here by myself when it’s not just my job at all. I want to thank Carey Mulligan for being not only the most talented person in the world but the kindest and funniest. I want to thank the producers for standing behind this film always and, you know, never giving up, and Lucky Chap, Focus, FilmNation. The cast and the crew, the greatest in the world, the kindest in the world. They just made me look good, and again, I’m just so grateful. And finally: my family, Mom, Dad, Coco, my husband Chris and our son.

Fennell’s Press Room Question:

Q. Congratulations. I am just so happy for you and proud of you. And you described this film as a “poison popcorn film.” Can you explain what that means exactly? And will you continue to make these “poison popcorn” movies?

A. I don’t know. I think I always hoped to make something that people would want to go and see that even if it’s about something difficult and troubling, that it would still be a movie that you would go and watch with your friends, with your boyfriend, and you would talk about it afterward. And so, part of it was that felt kind of glossy and feminine and poppy and that, yeah, but it was disgusting, some very difficult and dark subject matter. I think probably that is something I will do in the future a little bit.

Tyler Perry, 2021 recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

In perhaps the evening’s highlight, the Academy recognized Tyler Perry’s work by honoring him with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. The honor is given out periodically to an “individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.” An outstanding video explained his cause and documented his wonderful work.
Viola Davis, who collaborated with Perry on the 2009 film “Madea Goes to Jail,” presented the award.

In his stirring speech, Perry recalled a story about helping a woman in need buy a pair of shoes and how it served as a lesson in withholding judgment. “I want to take this Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and dedicate it to anyone who wants to stand in the middle,” he concluded, “… because that’s where healing happens, that’s where conversation happens, that’s where change happens. It happens in the middle. So anyone who wants to meet me in the middle, to refuse hate, to refuse blanket judgment, and help lift someone’s feet off the ground, this one’s for you, too.”

Press Room Questions:

Q. Congratulations. Your speech was just incredible. It was maybe the most moving moment of the night. You mentioned your mother a lot in that speech and what she taught you. Did you sense, as you were talking up there, that maybe she’s shined down, smiling down on you as you were able to deliver that message that she first gave you?

A. You know, I could feel her in the moment. I could feel her. Any time I’m up there, I’m carrying her with me in all she went through and all we went through together. You are absolutely right about that.

Q. I wanted to ask you what inspired you to share such a personal story?

A. Just where we are in the country and the world, and everybody is grabbing a corner and a color, and they are all nobody wants to come to the middle to have a conversation. Everybody is polarized, and it’s in the middle where things change. So I’m hoping that that inspires people to meet us in the middle so that we can get back to some semblance of normal. As this pandemic is over, we can get to a place where we are showing love and kindness to each other again.

Olivia Coleman and Anthony Hopkins “The Father” Sony USA

Anthony Hopkins was the last award of the night presented for Best Actor, and he was over the pond in Wales, at that moment although he posted to his Instagram account a heartfelt thank you the following day:

“At 83 years of age, I did not expect to get this award; I really didn’t,” said Hopkins in the Instagram video, standing in the beautiful Welsh countryside. He thanked the Academy and “paid tribute” to the late Chadwick Boseman, who “was taken from us far too early.” He also thanked the director and screenwriter of “The Father,” Florian Zeller, who, earlier in the evening, for Best Adapted screenplay. His thanks continued with Sony Pictures Classics, UTA, his team, his wife, Stella Arroyave, and his family. He ended by saying, “Again, thank you all very much. I really did not expect this, so I feel very privileged and honored. Thank you.”

Frances McDormand in “Nomadland” Searchlight Pictures

Frances McDormand won the Best Actress award, playing a nomad who hits the road after her small-town plant closes in the film “Nomadland.” Her third win; she ties Meryl Streep and Ingrid Bergman, who have three each, with the current record-holder, Katharine Hepburn, who has four. She quoted the Shakespeare play “Macbeth,” saying, “I have no words: my voice is in my sword. We know the sword is our work, and I like work. Thank you for knowing that, and thanks for this.” She then began to raise her head to the ceiling and howl, paying tribute to the “Nomandland” production sound mixer Michael Snyder, who died March of this year.

Scottsbluff, Nebraska is a filming location in the film “Nomadland” Scotts Bluff Monument sunset through Mitchell Pass. NPS Photo / Poffenberger

 

Sarah Knight Adamson, 16 years, Scottsbluff High School, Sweet 16 Pom Squad, Scottsbluff, Nebraska

For a 16-year-old living at the time in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, with dreams of attending the Academy Awards, fast-forward to 2021, I can say my Oscar press experience was not far off the mark, the behind the scenes press room allowed me to learn the mechanics of the show, along with tapping into the emotions of the victors. I am grateful for the opportunity.

What a fortuitous circumstance that my High School city of Scottsbluff, Nebraska (Go Bearcats!) was a key location in the filming of the Best Picture, “Nomadland.” We lived 12 miles outside of the city in the country; our large front bay window view was of the stunning Scotts Bluff Monument. Our home was surrounded by beet and corn fields that, at times, were swarming with farmworkers hand-picking the crops and tending the fields. Yes, I can relate to the term ‘nomad’ as I witnessed first-hand the families that came and left from our city and schools over my five years there. In fact, I overheard after a climb (800 feet above the North Platte River) up the Bluff (as locals refer to the Scotts Bluff Monument), during a High School reunion one of my classmates showing his wife where he and his family worked, he said while pointing down, “See that farm over there to the left, yep, that’s God’s country.”

My question to director Chole Zhao would have started with a thank you for capturing the Nebraska plains so beautifully, and I would have asked her what she enjoyed most about her visit to the picturesque area.

Sarah Knight Adamson© April 29, 2021

 

 

List of the 93rd Academy Award Nominees and Winners

Best Picture

The Father

Judas and the Black Messiah

Mank

Minari

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Actor

 Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal

 Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

 Anthony Hopkins, The Father

 Gary Oldman, Mank

 Steven Yeun, Minari

 

Best Actress

 Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

 Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

 Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman

 Frances McDormand, Nomadland

 Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

 

Best Director

 Lee Isaac Chung, Minari

 Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

 David Fincher, Mank

 Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round

 Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

 

Best Supporting Actress

 Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

 Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy

 Olivia Colman, The Father

 Amanda Seyfried, Mank

 Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari

 

Best Supporting Actor

 Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7

 Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

Leslie Odom Jr., One Night in Miami

 Paul Raci, Sound of Metal

 Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah

 

Best International Feature

 Another Round

 Better Days

 Collective 

 The Man Who Sold His Skin

 Quo Vadis, Aida?

 

Best Animated Feature

 Onward

 Over the Moon

 Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon 

 Soul

 Wolfwalkers

 

Best Documentary Feature

 Collective

 Crip Camp

 The Mole Agent

 My Octopus Teacher

 Time

 

Best Original Score

 Da 5 Bloods

 Mank

 Minari

 News of the World

 Soul

 

Best Original Song

 “Fight for You,” Judas and the Black Messiah

 “Hear My Voice,” The Trial of the Chicago 7

 “Husavik,” Eurovision Song Contest

 “Io Si (Seen),” The Life Ahead

 “Speak Now,” One Night in Miami

 

Best Original Screenplay

 Judas and the Black Messiah

 Minari

 Promising Young Woman

 Sound of Metal

 The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

 Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

 The Father

 Nomadland

 One Night in Miami

 The White Tiger

 

Best Cinematography

 Judas and the Black Messiah

 Mank

 News of the World

 Nomadland

 The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

 Emma

 Hillbilly Elegy

 Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

 Mank

 Pinocchio

 

Best Costume Design

 Emma

 Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

 Mank

 Mulan

 Pinocchio

 

Best Film Editing

 The Father

 Nomadland

 Promising Young Woman

 Sound of Metal

 The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Sound

 Greyhound

 Mank

 News of the World

 Soul

 Sound of Metal

 

Best Live-Action Short

 Feeling Through

 The Letter Room

 The Present

Two Distant Strangers

 White Eye

 

Best Animated Short

 Burrow

 Genius Loci

 If Anything Happens I Love You

 Opera

 Yes-People

 

Best Documentary Short

 Colette

 A Concerto is a Conversation

 Do Not Split

 Hunger Ward

 A Love Song for Latasha

 

Best Visual Effects

 Love and Monsters

 The Midnight Sky

 Mulan

 The One and Only Ivan

 Tenet

 

Best Production Design

 The Father 

 Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

 Mank

 News of the World

 Tenet

 

93rd Oscar Press Member Pre-Report”Together Together” H360 Film Review

Hi Carl, and hello to all of our listeners. This is Sarah Knight Adamson, and I have some exciting news; on Sunday tomorrow, April 25, I have been accepted to cover the 93rd Oscars and will be in the Virtual Pressroom during the Academy Awards.

The winners will appear in the Oscar Press Room by way of Zoom, and we will be able to ask questions.

Some of the presenters are Angela Bassett, Riz Ahmed, Viola Davis, Laura Dern, Harrison Ford, Regina King, Rita Moreno, Joaquin Phoenix, Brad Pitt, and Renée Zellweger.

The Oscar presentation locations will be Union Station, Los Angeles, The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, and International locations via Satellite.

Tune in at 7:00PM Central time, on ABC, and I’ll have Oscar updates right here next week.

Now, for tonight’s film review, “Together, Together” (R) stars Ed Helms, a single man in his 40s who’s lonely and decides that raising a child will change his life. He hires Anna, played by Patti Harrison, to be a surrogate mother.

Clip: “Why are you doing this alone? Because I am alone. I’m actually incredibly hopeful.

The film is written & directed by: Nicole Beckwith.

The Bottom-line, I’m in 3 stars out of 4; here’s a unique look at fatherhood from a single male’s point of view. Themes of friendship are explored, while boundaries need to be set. I liked this quirky little film, and it’s definitely for adults; Helms carries the role from start to finish.

Thanks so much for listening in tonight, and be sure to listen in next week as I give you an update on my Oscar coverage. Again this is Sarah Knight Adamson, your film and TV critic for Sarah’s Backstage Pass.com.

Sarah Knight Adamson© April 25, 2021

93rd Academy Awards, A View from an Accredited Oscar Press Member

THE OSCARS¨ – Key Art. (ABC) Artwork by Magnus Voll Mathiassen.

On the eve before the 93rd Oscars, I’ve been contemplating my years with the awards show and my love affair with it as it’s been a monumental part of my life since I was a child growing up in Los Angeles. As a ten-year-old, I have vivid memories of watching the show with my mother and savoring the jewels and gowns worn by the stars. Yet, the heartfelt emotional speeches bring back the most riveting moments of the show, along with the films’ music and movie clips. For a film enthusiast, which I’ve been all of my life, the Academy Awards is a magical occasion.

2018 Academy Awards Event, Variety the Children’s Charity IL Host Sarah Knight Adamson with , L-R Lindsey Valiulis Fleischhauer, Dr. Alicia McCareins, Sarah K. Adamson, Emily Danielson, Jessica DeLong

Over the years, I’ve held Oscar parties in my home, whereas for ten years, 2009-2019, I was asked to host the live telecast of the show benefiting Variety the Children’s Charity of IL ; I was also a member of the executive board. The garnered funds helped raise money for children’s adapted bicycles and wheelchairs. The Oscar event was held in various movie theaters in the Chicago suburbs. The tenth and last event I hosted took place in a beautiful venue, a gala affair to be exact, complete with a gourmet plated dinner and jaw-dropping decorations. In 2020, I applied for Oscar press credentials and was informed that their quota had been met for that year, and I was advised to summit again in 2021. I applied this year and am pleased to say I have been granted acceptance into the Oscar virtual press room. For me, this is a dream realized.

As a member of the Oscar press, the winners will enter the Oscar media center, and the press will be called on to ask questions. We will also be able to take screengrabs and photos. I can tell you that I am ready with my questions and am looking forward to the experience of covering the Oscars up close and personal. Check back as I will write another piece covering Sunday’s Oscars.

My predictions for the 93rd Oscars are listed below; they are chosen by whom I predict will wIn and who I want to win. I’ve seen all of the films, and of course, have my favorites.

I am rooting for Carey Mulligan, “A Promising Young Women” as her performance is outstanding, and the film is an important call to action. Yes, I did appreciate Viola Davis’s transformation in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and will be thrilled if she wins. I graduated from Scottsbluff High School; therefore, “Nomandland” struck a chord with me. Chloe Zhao captured the Nebraska plains beautifully, and I applaud her work. I’m also rooting for Diane Warren to win Best Original Song as I love the song “lo Sì (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)” staring the amazing Sophia Loren.

BEST PICTURE

“The Father”

“Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Mank”

“Minari”

“Nomadland”✓

“Promising Young Woman”

“Sound of Metal”

“The Trial of the Chicago 7″

DIRECTOR

Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round”

David Fincher, “Mank”

Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”

Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland”✓

Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”

Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”

Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”

Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”✓ 

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”

Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”✓

Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”

Gary Oldman, “Mank”

Steven Yeun, “Minari”

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”

Olivia Colman, “The Father”

Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”

Yuh-jung Youn, “Minari”✓

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”✓

Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami”

Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”

Lakeith Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah”

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

“Borat Subsequent MovieFilm”

“The Father”

“Nomadland”✓

“One Night in Miami”

“The White Tiger”

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

“Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Minari”

“Promising Young Woman”✓

“Sound of Metal”

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Sean Bobbitt, “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Erik Messerschmidt, “Mank”✓

Dariusz Wolski, “News of the World”

Joshua James Richards, “Nomadland”

Phedon Papamichael , “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

COSTUME DESIGN

“Emma”

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”✓

“Mank”

“Mulan”

“Pinocchio”

FILM EDITING

“The Father”

“Nomadland”

“Promising Young Woman”

“Sound of Metal”✓

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

“Emma”

“Hillbilly Elegy”

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”✓

“Mank”

“Pinocchio”

PRODUCTION DESIGN

“The Father”

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

“Mank”✓

“News of the World”

“Tenet”

SCORE

“Da 5 Bloods”

“Mank”

“Minari”

“News of the World”

“Soul” ✓

 ORIGINAL SONG

“Fight For You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Hear My Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

“Husavik” from “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”

“lo Sì (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)” ✓

“Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami…”

 ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND

“Greyhound”

“Mank”

“News of the World”

“Soul”

“Sound of Metal”✓

 VISUAL EFFECTS

“Love and Monsters”

“The Midnight Sky”

“Mulan”

“The One and Only Ivan”

“Tenet”✓

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

“Onward”

“Over the Moon”

“A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”

“Soul”✓

“Wolfwalkers”

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

“Collective”

“Crip Camp”

“The Mole Agent”

“My Octopus Teacher”✓

“Time”

 INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM

“Another Round” – Denmark✓

“Better Days” – Hong Kong

“Collective” – Romania

“The Man Who Sold His Skin” – Tunisia

Quo Vadis, Aida? – Bosnia and Herzegovina

 ANIMATED SHORT FILM

“Burrow”

“Genius Loci”

“If Anything Happens I Love You”✓

“Opera”

“Yes-People”

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT)

“Colette”

“A Concerto Is a Conversation”

“Do Not Split”

“Hunger Ward”

“A Love Song For Latasha”✓ 

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

“Feeling Through”

“The Letter Room”

“The Present”

“Two Distant Strangers”✓

“White Eye”

Oscar Ballot Download: https://assets.cdn.watchdisneyfe.com/delta/assets/oscars/Oscars_Ballot_2021.pdf

Sarah Knight Adamson©April 24, 2021

Godzilla vs Kong ★★★½ Hollywood 360 Radio Network Podcast

Godzilla vs Kong-2021

Hi Carl and hello everyone, tonight I have three movies. First up, the box office smash “Godzilla vs. Kong” PG-13, in the opening scene, off the coast of Florida, Godzilla is spouting his nuclear breath and wreaking havoc. Scientists are concerned as they know that Godzilla only reacts when something is very wrong. Soon we see Godzilla attacking King Kong. Yep, something is very wrong, as an evil force is behind this attack.

Indeed, the monsters encounter many fights; nonetheless, the underwater sea battles and the neon lite streets of Hong Kong’s skyscraper scenes rank as standouts. As each new film changes the monsters’ look, the latest versions are strikingly detailed, although Kong’s size seems to vary, with attention paid to Godzilla’s prickly spikes. An exclamation to the spike changes may account for the fact that Godzilla’s spikes are constantly growing and breaking; thus, the replacements inevitably are not identical. I must say the artistic bar has been raised as the attention to detail is shockingly apparent.

Gracery Hotel-Tokyo, Japan 2016.

Director Adam Wingard directs a namedropping cast. Scientists Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård) and Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) are key players who are pressured by billionaire-philanthropist Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir) to use Kong to find a power source in middle earth. Nathan meets with Ilene and convinces her to let Kong guide them through the Hollow Earth via an outpost in Antarctica.

Written by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein, Kong is portrayed to have a bit of a softer side. He has a friendship with a young girl named Jia (Kaylee Hottle), whose guardian is Ilene Andrews. a sensitive scientist played by Rebecca Hall. Jia and Kong use sign language to communicate, which garnered a smile from this reviewer. We see a genuine connection between the two, and this gives Kong an edge in the ‘who are you rooting for’ arena.

Other cast rounds out the films as (Millie Bobby Brown), plays a determined teen, she was also in “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” along with Kyle Chandler, who once again plays her father, the uneasy administrator. Although the people take a back-seat here, truly the most glorious scenes are the battles Kong, Godzilla, and the new force as they engage in battle. It’s best to let the film unfold and not know too much about those scenes as truly they are worth the price of admission—no spoilers here. All I can say is that I look forward to seeing the film in a big gigantic scene soon.

The Bottom-line: I’m way in, 3½ stars out of 4; I’m a huge fan of both monsters. I really enjoyed the special effects in this one, especially the Hong Kong Skyline scenes along with the battles.

Check out my radio podcast on Hollywood 360 Radio Network: https://www.hollywood360radio.com/godzilla-vs-kong-%e2%98%85%e2%98%85%e2%98%85%c2%bd/

Sarah Knight Adamson April 18, 2021

Percy vs Goliath ★★★★ Hollywood 360 Radio Network Podcast

In the film “Percy vs Goliath,” Christopher Walken and Christina Ricci star in the true story of a Canadian farmer in 1997, who is sued for allegedly using patented seeds to grow his crops.

Clip: We heard your story; you are fighting; you bring us hope. $1.2 Million; that’s how much you owe. We are going to lose the farm.

Christopher Walken delivers an excellent performance as Percy Schmeiser, the real-life Saskatchewan canola farmer who was sued in 1998 for using patented Monsanto seeds without a license. The seeds were genetically modified to be Round-Up resistant—the resulting plants would survive spraying with the Monsanto weed killer, while non-Monsanto seeds would not.

Most small farmers, then or now, don’t have the means to wage a legal battle with a major corporation like Monsanto. The underdog story is about a controversy that still resonates with folks. Zach Braff plays attorney Jackson Weaver, who takes on Percy’s case though he thinks it’s a losing battle.

Clark Johnson directs as we learn about Schmeiser’s multi-generational farm and the fact they had always used its own seeds, propagating the healthiest plants every year. Monsanto applied pressure, but he ignored it—a pleasant discovery was finding out about the support from farmers from around the world who the company had already ruined. It’s not a spoiler to say he won, and he’s one of the folks Monsanto ended up paying millions in restitution. Finally, a celebration for the little guy. It also stars Roberta Maxwell, Adam Beach, Martin Donovan, Peter Stebbings, and Luke Kirby.

I’m way in, Four Stars out of Four. This is an inspirational story with a Great ending!
Thanks for listening in tonight, this is Sarah Knight Adamson for Sarah’s Backstage Pass.

Sarah Knight Adamson©April 18, 2021

Check out The Hollywood 360 Radio Network Podcast: http://bit.ly/PercyvsGoliathH360

Christo Brock Interview “Brewmance”

Christo Brock Writer/Director “Brewmance” Sarah Knight Adamson-Interview-2021

I interviewed Christo Brock, the writer and director of the documentary film “Brewmance” on April 6, 2021, via Zoom. I enjoyed the film “Brewmance” as I learned so much about not only craft beers, I learned about the culture. It’s a hands-on, roll-up your sleeves culture—one that requires hard work, camaraderie, and a love of the process. Living in Long Beach, California, Brock became inspired to write a documentary film after attending meetings of the Long Beach Homebrewers. He met two homebrewers who are the main subjects of his film and followed them from start to finish to complete their dream of operating a brewery. Former “Reel Big Fish” trombonist Dan Regan of Liberation Brewing Co, 3630 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA, and Jesse Sundstrom and his father Dan, co-owner of Ten Mile Brewing, 1136 E Willow St, Signal Hill, CA, show us the process of transitioning homebrew to a large-scale operation.

Sarah Knight Adamson:

It’s so wonderful to meet you. Congratulations on your documentary film “Brewmance.” You not only teach us the history of craft brews, you actually teach us how to brew our own beer. My question for you, could you please explain to our audience and our listeners what exactly is craft beer?

Christo Brock:

Good question. Well, first off, craft beer is a beer that has not been brewed by a corporation. Now I’ve got to tread lightly on this, but the Craft Brewers Association has a strict definition about this, and usually, something has to be brewed from all malt, all natural ingredients, and it has to be independently owned,  in other words, people who just decided, “You know what, I like making beer and I’m going to start a little business” and really that’s kind of the heart and soul of craft brewers.

SKA:

Well, thank you for that answer. The title “Brewmance,” I love the title, by the way. Can you tell me how that came about?

CB:

Well, coming up with a title for a film is super important because you want to be unique, you want it to stand out, but the whole idea of “Brewmance “plays off the idea of romance and bromance. “Brewmance” is very encompassing where it also includes women because there’s a lot of wonderful women in the world of craft beer. But I think people who make beers love the process; they love making new tastes. There’s a love affair that goes on with something they’ve just created and that they’re going to share with people. Some people love the idea of exploring and coming up with new flavors.

SKA:

I saw a connection with the word bromance. Director John Hamburg’s film “I Love You Man,” 2009, with Jason Siegel and Paul Rudd, is the first time I heard of the word. I interviewed Hamburg and asked him about the term, and he said, “You know when we were making this movie, we didn’t even think of that or know of that term,” but now the term bromance is synonymous with “I Love You Man.”

I thought that’s pretty cool. What are your hopes for your film and your idea of this brewmance?

CB: I do hope that people will get to see this and get to experience a little bit of the world of craft beer and the values of it, because I really do think it’s about community, it’s about treating your competitor as your friend. That’s one of the things that struck me most about the world of craft beer is that there’s just this very strange cooperation and collaboration from people who are competing against each other.

SKA:

Yes, that’s really cool. By the way, I added the word brewmance to my Microsoft word program. I believe that there are now over 7,000 craft breweries in the United States. Can you talk about perhaps which states have the largest concentration of craft beer breweries? I know that our family lake place in Michigan has two brand new ones, and it’s just like they’re popping up more and more.

CB:

I can’t really speak to the concentrations but what I can speak to is that they are everywhere. I mean, this is one of the great things about beer and craft beer, so when you’re a big multinational beer manufacturer, you make your beer in St. Louis, and then you ship it around the country. And one of the reasons that we used to have just lagers is because they would travel well. All the little craft beers, they don’t last very long. So the great thing is now that we have all these little breweries in every little sort of corner of this country and in other countries, is that the beer is local, it’s responsive to the people drinking it, and it’s fresh and you usually can see the person who made it. I think that makes a big difference. You can be like, “Oh, that’s the brewer. Oh, cool.” And then it just gives the craft beer a whole different experience. It’s like there’s a story in the bottle or the glass.

SKA:

I really loved the music in your film. Did you know about the band “Reel Big Fish” before you met Dan Regan, the trombone player?

CB:

I’ll say I did not. I grew up on the East Coast, but all my friends from out in California were like “Reel Big Fish, yeah I grew up with them,” but I was a little bit like, “Oh cool, they’re great.”

SKA:

I really appreciated hearing the craft beer legend story. And it was great watching the film just to hear Fritz Maytag, and I’m like Anchor Steam that was my first craft beer.

CB: That was a lot of people’s first craft beer, right?  When I moved to San Francisco in 1989, just a month before the big earthquake, and then I started working at a bar, a jazz bar, and the big thing was the owners were like, and we serve Anchor Steam, and I was like, “What’s that?” But it was a big thing. It was like, “Oh, we have Anchor Steam on tap,” and people loved it.

SKA:

Yes, thank you for that; I appreciated all of Fritz Maytag’s stories. My final question, what was your favorite scene to film?

CB:

Well, this is a little perverse because I don’t think that I did a very good job of it, but without giving too much away, there’s a scene with Liberation [Brewery] towards the end of the film that gets a little tense.

When you’re a filmmaker filming something that’s delicate, there’s a very fine line between making sure you record the action but not being part of it because that’ll change what’s happening.

SKA:

So you try to be the fly on the wall.

CB:

Yes, and that’s when you really see like, “Oh wow, I’m capturing something real.” When they stop noticing you and life just goes on. I really like that.

SKA: I believe you accomplished that for sure. Thanks so much for speaking with me, and best of luck with the film.

*All photos property of “Brewmance” film

Sarah Knight Adamson© April 6, 2021

Brewmance ★★★½ Hollywood 360 Radio Network Podcast

Ten Mile Brewery-1136 E Willow St, Signal Hill, CA

Craft breweries have seemed to pop up out of nowhere in recent years; case in point, an abandoned church, dating back to the Civil War in New Buffalo, Michigan, is now home of Beer Church Brewery, where you can enjoy the beer’ small-batch.’ We were among the first patrons during its soft opening in 2018; while still under construction, beer was served out of styrofoam coolers while patrons sat in pews and make-shift picnic tables. The eats served consisted of peanuts in cups. Fast forward to 2021; the brewery has become a destination, serving piping hot Pizza Napoletana in their beautiful beer garden or inside, boasting beautiful stained glass windows and high arched ceilings.

“Brewmance” is a documentary about the love of craft beers, the history of homebrewers in America that has made us the leader in home brewing, how to make craft beer, and so much more. Director Christo Brock, a filmmaker, living in Long Beach, California, told me in an interview that there are over 7,000 breweries in this country. In my interview with Brock, I asked him to explain the definition of craft beer. He answered, “Craft beer is a beer that a corporation has not brewed. Now I’ve got to tread lightly on this, but the Craft Brewers Association has a strict definition about this. Usually, something has to be brewed from all-malt, all-natural ingredients. It has to be independently owned, in other words, people who just decided, “You know what, I like making beer, and I’m going to start a little business” and really that’s kind of the heart and soul of craft brewers.

Filmmaker Christo Brock “Brewmance”

We see how the craft brew industry got going in the 70s thanks to Fritz Maytag, who began in San Francisco with Anchor Steam beer. His determination and hard work are a testament to what it takes to be successful in the art of brewing indeed. Brock captured him on film, adding to the historical beginnings of brew making—which by the way, was this reviewer’s first craft beer in 1994. As Brock told me, “Anchor Steam was my first craft beer as well, and I’ll venture to say it was many peoples.”

Following two homebrewer businesses from start to finish, “Brewmance” gives us a birds-eye view of what is involved in creating an independent brewery business. It’s a hands-on, roll-up your sleeves culture—one that requires hard work, camaraderie, and a love of the process. Brock became inspired to write a documentary film after attending meetings of the Long Beach Homebrewers. He met two homebrewers who are the main subjects of his film and followed them from start to finish to complete their dream of operating a brewery. Former “Reel Big Fish” trombonist Dan Regan of Liberation Brewing Co, 3630 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA, and Jesse Sundstrom and his father Dan, co-owner of Ten Mile Brewing, 1136 E Willow St, Signal Hill, CA, show us the process of transitioning homebrew to a large-scale operation.

Who knew that beer consists of only four ingredients (barley, hops, water, yeast)? Adding additional ingredients and techniques gives each craft beer its unique flavor and, in most cases, its personality. An important factor is replicating a small batch to a large community batch; this process can be very tricky. Lastly, starting a brewery is very expensive in terms of finding a space large enough to house the enormous beer vats and serving patrons. I have an entirely different outlook on craft beer due to screening “Brewmance” and an appreciation of the heart that goes into creating the sudsy drink. My interest is piqued with flavors such as Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout, French Toast Beer, and Creme Brulee Milk Stout.

And what about that title “Brewmance?” Brock told me, “Brewmance “plays off the idea of romance and bromance. Brewmance is very encompassing where it also includes women because there’s a lot of wonderful women in the world of craft beer. But I think people who make beers love the process; they love making new tastes. There’s a love affair that goes on with something they’ve just created and that they’re going to share with people. Some people love the idea of exploring and coming up with new flavors.”

The Bottom-line: I’m way in 3 and ½ stars out of 4. Here’s a well-written and researched look at home brewing with just the right amount of humor, anchored by serious moments. I enjoyed the music of the band Real Big Fish throughout the film.

* History of Beer Church Brewery as written on their website: A Civil War era iconic church at the crossroads of downtown New Buffalo, Michigan. A brief role as an improvised armory during a time of need. What better bones upon which to build a brewery? We saved it from knockdown and buildup of who-knows-what franchise because it’s a beautiful place for you to have a beautiful beer – and Pizza Napoletana.

Beer Church: 24 S Whittaker St., New Buffalo, MI 49117

Check out my Hollywood 360 Radio Podcast: https://www.hollywood360radio.com/brewmance/

@Sarah Knight Adamson April 22, 2021

 

SXSW-2021 Part 3 Film Favorites, The Fabulous Filipino Brothers, See You Then, Tom Petty: Somewhere You Feel Free, Language Lessons, Potato Dreams of America

The South by Southwest (SXSW) 2021 virtual/online Film Festival March 16-20, wrapped, with a five-days of offerings. The Austin, Texas venue included their typical program of keynote speakers, film offerings, interview opportunities, networking sessions, Q&A discussions, and music festival showcasing.

All of these opportunities made for a great experience with many choices, in an easy-to-follow format that provided a safe environment for all during the pandemic.

Below is a list of the 20 films I screened listed in order of preference with capsule reviews, here are reviews for 11-15.

11. “The Fabulous Filipino Brothers”

The four real-life Filipino Brothers, Dante, Derek, Dionysio, and Darion Basco, grew up in Pittsburg, California, during the 60s and 70s. Their movie has charm, family-based themes, and the struggles of growing up in a large extended family. It’s also about their joy, love, admiration for each other. Dante Basco, the writer, and the director, is no stranger to show business. He’s made a name for himself in Hollywood, especially in voice overwork.

I appreciated the efforts to capture each brother’s story, as the differences in depositions and personalities are vast. Near the beginning, one character says with pride that Filipinos actually have “jungle Asian” roots, followed up with examples to back up the statement. In the same vein, Dante Basco reminds us that even with all of our differences, in many ways, we are the same. It’s a true celebration of Filipino-American culture, enlightening all to inside humor and banter.

I can recommend the film to all as the family events and themes are great for all of us to learn life lessons and basically go-with-the-flow. Be sure to stay for the end credits, as the home movies of the four brothers are well worth viewing.

12. “See You Then”

A magnificent study in the reconnection of two people who have a love history together that didn’t end well. Writer/director Mari Walker’s film, explores living through a trans woman’s experience with her former ex-girlfriend. Taking place over one night, the two revisit their old college campus and locations that open the flood gates of their memories.

Naomi (Lynn Chen) is a disenchanted art professor who agrees to meet her ex-boyfriend Kris (Pooya Mohseni). Their small-talk at first is cordial and somewhat congenial, although as the conversation turns toward heavier issues, the two become tense and uncomfortable. Kris relieves her transitioning to female while Naomi listens intently yet voices her frustrations in not knowing what Kris was going through as she was ghosted by her. Kris, on the defense throughout most of the film, attempts an explanation, yet Naomi remains emotionally wounded.

Walker juggles many themes while the characters’ lives unfold before us. It’s a fine line that requires a tight script, which is evident here. What’s truly remarkable is the incredible acting and discourse between the two women. Some of the dialogue is funny, while some are heavy-hitting, offering empathy for both.

13. “Tom Petty: Somewhere You Feel Free”

The documentary by director Mary Wharton has 16mm studio footage from 1994 and new interviews with Petty’s daughter Adria Petty, LP producer Rick Rubin, and Heartbreakers Mike Campbell, Steve Ferrone Benmont Tench. It gives fans and viewers insights into Petty’s musical genius and the making of his favorite album “Wildflowers.” We learn that Petty was on the brink of divorce, a soon-to-be record label switch and a change in the Heartbreakers’ lineup. Considered a Petty solo album, he explains why, “I wanted to be free of the democratic process,” he says in an interview during the making of the album.

Petty did make a switch from MCA to Warner Bros. to create “Wildflowers,” but in order to run out his MCA contract, he needed to deliver two new tracks for one final album, the 1993’s ‘Greatest Hits.’ “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” was recorded during a break away from “Wildflowers” in a different studio. Despite being a song that he needed to create to fulfill his obligations to MCA, the song became one of his most famous hits.

In writing the Wildflower title track, Petty says, “That one just came to me,” he continued explaining that in a single sitting. “I played the full song, from the top to the end, with all the music and all the lyric, in one go. I stopped the tape and played it back, and I was confused. I kept playing it again and again: ‘What do we work on? What do we change?’ And then I thought, ‘I’m not going to change it, I’m going to leave it exactly stream of consciousness.'” He commented in another section of the film that “The best ones come quick. They just fall out.”

The “Wildflowers” sessions produced 25 songs, of which Petty initially wanted to release a double album. At the time, with CDs popularity, it would have been very expensive to purchase. Petty decided to simply take off 10 songs. In 2020 all 25 songs were released as “Wildflowers & All the Rest.” The documentary provides commentary by Petty’s family, and viewers learn of his desires in creating music and the choices he made in the people he works with. Being a Tom Petty fan, I thoroughly enjoyed the film.

14. “Language Lessons”

Natalie Morales directs Mark Duplass and herself in this two-person film, taking place mostly on Zoom. The script is written by both Morales and Duplass, presents a wealthy guy, Adam (Duplass), who is given 100 hours of lessons on the Spanish language by his teacher Cariño (Morales), who’s Costa Rica-based. Though their first meeting begins uncomfortably, the two ultimately warm up to each other, especially after Adam opens up about his life, his relationship with Will, and Will’s death.
“Language Lessons” poses the question, how are we to process our grief during a pandemic? And also asks the question, is it possible to find romance during Zoom meetings. One would think the constant Zoom sessions would become boring to watch. However, to the contrary, the film keeps you engaged as we understand just a little more about each during the different sessions and actually begin to ‘care’ about each participant. When it’s later revealed that Cariño is also currently experiencing something arduous, we immediately are drawn in—wondering if she will open up to Will as he has to her.
Cleverly written with precision timing between the actors, the film is a joy to view. The film shows us human connection in its purest form, and I look forward to more collaborative films between Morales and Duplass. Don’t miss this sweet, heartwarming, uplifting tale.

15. “Potato Dreams of America”

Here’s a different kind of genre film, one that I enjoyed immensely, based on a Russian gay teen’s life and his new life in America. What makes this story even more interesting is that it hinges on a true story. Writer-director Wes Hurley’s childhood in Russia is a tale of woe—as it’s not easy being gay in Russia. He’s nicknamed “Potato” by his adoring mother, Vasili (Hersh Powers), and he doesn’t fare well in the ‘mean streets of the USSR. Hoping for a life in America, his dream is finally realized as mom decides to apply to be a mail-order bride.

As my suspicions were confirmed, the new husband was a bruting, bad-tempered right-wing idiot. The sensitive Potato doesn’t adapt to new dad John (Dan Lauria), as the situation becomes heated when Potato’s sexual orientation is revealed. The film is cleverly written as we know Potato’s inner thoughts, and there are many insightful ones. We root for him as he navigates these new situations as feelings.

My only concerns are the choices to show gratuitous sex scenes in the last part of the film, and I felt that up until this point, youngsters could benefit from filmmaker Hurley’s experiences with not only being gay but adjusting to life in America with a challenging father figure. The scenes referred to are not appropriate for under 17 years of age, as the film should be rated R. All and all, as an adult, those scenes didn’t bother me, although they were repetitive and overdone.

The Best Films SXSW-2021

  1. “Lily Topples the World”: 
  2. “Violet”
  3. “Fruits of Labor”
  4. ‘Under the Volcano’
  5. “Women Is Losers”
  6. “Hysterical”
  7. “Swan Song”
  8. “The Fallout”
  9. “Alien on Stage”
  10. “I’m Fine (Thanks For Asking)”
  11. “The Fabulous Filipino Brothers”
  12. “See You Then”
  13. “Tom Petty: Somewhere You Feel Free”
  14. “Language Lessons”
  15. “Potato Dreams of America”
  16. “Witch Hunt”
  17. “Here Before”
  18. In the Same Breath
  19. “Not Going Quietly”
  20. “Inbetween Girl”

Sarah Knight Adamson April 9, 2021

 

Tina (R) ★★★★ Hollywood 360 Radio Network Podcast

“Tina,” rated R, is streaming now on HBO, this is a documentary film based on Ike and Tina Turner’s life together. Be warned, the film contains detailed information regarding the abuse and torture Tina endured, by the hands of Ike, as she speaks and tells her first-hand account.

Most of us know the movie “What Love Got to Do with It” (1993) based on the life of rock and roll and soul singer Tina Turner starring Angela Bassett. Turner was born with the given name Anna Mae Bullock and discovers her love of singing in her Tennessee church choir. In moving to St. Louis to pursue a career, she meets the charismatic and authoritative Ike Turner played by Laurence Fishburne, who renames her Tina Turner. Ike and Tina were magic on stage and became musical a sensation. Ike’s demons continued to resurface, abusing Tina for 16 years. During the documentary, Tina recounts in her own words the night she left Ike as she feared for her life.

Clip: I had an abusive life; there’s no other way to tell the story. During the divorce, I got nothing; I just wanted my name. My dream is to be a singer to pack places like the Stones.

Dan Lindsay, T.J. Martin, directed the film, using videos, photographs, and sound recordings to tell her story. The real story is that a solo Tina became more successful than she ever was with Ike. The real story is that she is the star.
The film is tough to watch, although important as physical abuse in any form should not be tolerated. Tina’s story is a lesson in self-discovery and healing. She paved her own way while taking control of her career.
If you have ever been lucky enough to see her perform, you would know that she is a musical genius. I was fortunate to see her at Radio City Music Hall in New York, the United Center in Chicago, and MGM Grand in Las Vegas. She performed to sold out stadium crowds worldwide; she was comfortable with her audience as she introduced the songs and chatted about her life.
What “Tina” leaves us is an icon’s well-earned happiness as she exits show business. It’s partly a tribute, yet “Tina” is also a cautionary tale that serves others as she has entertained through most of her life.

The Bottom-line: I’m way in 4 stars out of 4. Tina Turner wants to put her sad, heart-breaking past behind her and savor the good memories of her rise to fame as a solo artist. This is an outstanding film for all Tina Turner fans.

Here’s The Hollywood 360 Radio Network Podcast: http://bit.ly/tinaH360

Sarah Knight Adamson© April 4, 2021

Senior Moment Hollywood 360 Radio Network Podcast

Hi Carl and hi everyone out there, tonight I’m going to talk about William Shatner’s new film, “Senior Moment” and the HBO documentary “Tina.”

“Senior Moment” takes place in sunny Palm Springs. We meet Shatner, a retired NASA test pilot, with a desire to relive the days of speed. He’s living his retirement days by adorning his vintage sportscar as he drives around town with his friend actor Christopher Llyod from “Back to the Future.”

He’s caught one too many times racing and now must navigate life by taking public transportation. Meeting actress Jean Smart, a bakery owner in town, becomes his salvation. Of course, there’s a twist, enter a younger good looking artist Esai Morales to keep things unbalanced.

The Bottomline: I’m in 3 stars out of 4. Here’s a delightful comedy with an all-star cast that says we’re never too old for love. The backdrop of sunny Palms Springs, along with the relaxing, leisurely pace is enjoyable to view.

 

Listen to the podcast posted to Hollywood 360 Radio Network: http://bit.ly/seniormomentH360

Sarah Knight Adamson©April 4, 2021

Emily Cohen Ibanez “Fruits of Labor SXSW Interview

Portrait of 4th World Indigenous Media Lab fellows, Ashley Solis Pavon (seated) and Emily Cohen Ibañez. Photographed at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in 2020.

The insightful film “Fruits of Labor” focuses on California Central Coast’s rich soil, the beautiful nature of the area, and the laborers that work the fields. Ashley, an energetic, vibrant teen, works in those fields to help provide for the family. Providing empathy for child and teen Farm Laborers, this beautiful film gives us a true picture of the situation.

Filmmaker Emily Cohen Ibanez met her when she was 15 years old—two years later, she filmed her senior year of High School, documenting her struggles of balancing school and her farm work. The film premiered at the SXSW 2021 Film Festival. I spoke with director Emily Cohen Ibanez shortly after the festival.

I interviewed Emily Cohen Ibanez for the Alliance of Women Film Journalists to read the entire article, click here: https://bit.ly/EmilyCohenIbanez-Interview

Find out below how you can help support the cause of child farm labor and organizations that are helping to make a difference.

SKA: Can you tell me when you met Ashley and her family?

ECI:
I met Ashley when she was 15. I was doing arts development work, creating a video collective in her town with communities from farm working families and college students. And Ashley just really stood out. She’s a sensitive young woman, she’s engaged, she’s an advocate for her community. She also had a wonderful eye and was teaching the young people camera, and she just had an enormous amount of curiosity. I was really drawn to her and wanting to continue her development as a young person and then got to know her family. Two years after meeting her and her family, I asked her if I could film her in her last year of high school.

SKA:
What can people support agencies that are working for better Farm Labor conditions? Also, are there local groups in the California Central Coast area?

ECI:
There are wonderful organizations like The United Farm Workers with a long history in organizing, especially for strawberry workers. There’s a Dolores Huerta Foundation that supports, especially young girls, Latina girls in farm working communities with their higher education.

The organization we worked really close with, and actually my sister is the executive director, and they started this group, Youth Growing Justice. They help the local community fight to reclaim city lands for community gardens. It’s called Community Agroecology Network. They do a lot of very specific work with youth. Ashley got to travel to Nicaragua and meet farmers there. We also work in Mexico. We do all these different exchanges between Mexico and Nicaragua, and California around food security.

Sarah Knight Adamson© March 31, 2021

 

 

 

http://bit.ly/EmilyCohenIbanez-Interview

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93rd Academy Awards 2021, a View From the Virtual Oscar Press Office

Oscars 2021-Reporting for Hollywood 360 Radio Network

Sunday, April 25, 2021, the day of the Academy Awards, began with a familiarity of anticipation that I have come to expect over the years—except this year was different, I was accepted to be a virtual member of the Oscars press. My day in New Buffalo, Michigan began by searching for a halo light to improve my Zoom video quality, and luck was on my side as I purchased one locally. The night before was spent rearranging furniture to prepare a suitable backdrop and workspace for an 8-hour stretch that encompassed viewing Red Carpet arrivals, Oscar-nominated song performances, interviewing winners, all while downloading photos, videos, and transcripts. By far, the most challenging job was toggling back and forth between the live Oscar show and the Oscar media room. All and all, the experience is one I will treasure, and I look forward to the day I will be able to report in Hollywood, California.

New Buffalo, Michigan–Lake Michigan sunset view, Saturday, April 24, 2021. Sarah Knight Adamson Photo Credit
Settling into the press room involved being on top of the situation and listening to instructions; we were guided like a well-oiled machine. I prepared questions for all 25 winners and delighted in hearing their answers as they spoke to the press. To experience their visual elation just moments after an Oscar win and to listen to their profound gratitude heightened my experience of viewing the Oscars all the years, as I’ve watched the show since I was ten years old while living in Los Angeles. Truly, this reporter felt a full-circle moment in my career, and I am grateful to be accepted among such esteemed journalists.
Sarah Knight Adamson, April 25, 2021

Protocol consisted of viewing a title card that announced who was stepping into the virtual press room, headphones were suggested as they reduced the chance of feedback. In terms of stepping, this is an accurate account as talent walked in front of an Oscar designed backdrop holding their Oscars and spoke to talent as they watched a large screen. The backdrop served two purposes, one for photos and speaking with press. Talent was announced, hands were raised, questions were asked. No follow-up questions were allowed, if your hand was raised and you were cued, and you were expected to ready to speak—while most importantly be in front of your camera and ready to go.

The winners have been announced for some time now. My Hollywood 360 Radio Network segment this Saturday night will cover a snapshot of my reporting, snippets of transcribed Oscar acceptance speeches, Oscar press room questions, and answers, along with standout highlights of the Oscar show and the backstage interviews.

Daniel Kaluuya, Best Supporting Actor for “Judas and the Black Messiah

Daniel Kaluuya won early in the evening, taking home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for “Judas and the Black Messiah.” He gave a heartfelt acceptance speech thanking God, his mom, and his family. Here is a segment of his speech that focuses on the film:

“Chairman Fred Junior and Mama Akua, thank you so much for allowing us into your life and into your story. Thank you for trusting us with your truth. I appreciate you deeply, and it’s an honor to partner up and stand side by side with you. And to Chairman Fred Hampton. Bro, man. Man, what a man. He was on this earth for 21 years, and he found a way to feed kids breakfast, educate kids, give free medical care, against all the odds. He showed me, he taught me him. Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, the Black Panther Party. They showed me how to love myself. And with that love, they overflowed into the black community and into other communities. And they showed us that the power of union, the power of unity, that when they play divide and conquer, we say unite and ascend.

Thank you so much for showing me myself. And yeah, man, there’s so much work to do guys, and that’s on everyone in this room, this ain’t no single man job. I look at this room, and I look at everyone, every single one of you, you got work to do, you know what I’m saying.”

Red Carpet arrivals Oscars 2021 Chole Zhao writer/directer Nomadland and Joshua James Richards, Cinematographer: Nomadland.

“Nomadland” the big winner of the evening, taking home the Best Picture, Best Director, and the Best Actress Oscars. Writer/director/producer Chole Zhao, appeared in the press room numerous times.

Here is a question that was asked after she won Best Director:

Q. Talk to me about all of this history coming your way all at once. How does it feel? I mean, you have literally smashed this glass ceiling that we often talk about. Tell me about what’s coursing through your veins right now.

A. Well, you know, I feel I’m very lucky I have parents who have always told me that who you are is enough, you know, and who I who you are is your art, you know? So I always try to stay true to myself and be surrounded by really great, supportive, talented people, so I really share this moment with them.

“Minari” Yuh-Jung Young, Best Supporting Actress winner. Director Lee Isaac Chung Credit: Courtesy of A24

Yuh-Jung Youn, the feisty grandmother in Minari, captured not only her grandson’s heart in the film she went home with an Oscar for her Best Supporting Actress role. Brad Pitt presented her the award as he was a producer of the film. Youn said in her acceptance speech that she does not believe in competition; she does not believe that her performance is better than Glen Close or the other nominees. Here are a few questions she answered in the press room.

Brad Pitt, right, poses with Yuh-Jung Youn, winner of the award for best actress in a supporting role for “Minari,” in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Union Station in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, Pool)

Q. Congratulations on such a historic win. You created the Oscar-winning grandma. What was the biggest challenge you faced in your acting career, and what did you get from (inaudible)?

A. Well, it’s not happened right at the moment because I had a long career. I’m trying to do my career, you know, step by step. And just sometimes it’s happy, very happy, when you get it. But for me, myself, I don’t believe in competition, especially in our field, because we are comparing a different movie. I’m just lucky tonight, just luckier than the other nominees, luckier than them. And maybe, who knows, it’s American hospitality for the Korean actor, I think.

Q. Congratulations on your win tonight. Brad Pitt was a producer on Minari, and you just met him for the first time. What was that like, and if you could do a movie with him, what genre would you choose?

A. That will never happen with my English and age, you know. I don’t think so, no.

Makeup and Hairstyling won the Oscar for the film “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, that consisted of fitting actress Viola Davis with a full set of gold teeth. Mia Neal’s acceptance speech spoke to people of color and their representation in the future.

Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson are the first Black women to win in the Hair and Makeup category. Makeup artist Sergio Lopez-Rivera also won.

MIA NEAL:
“I was raised by my grandfather, James Holland. He was an original Tuskegee Airman. He represented the U.S. in the first Pan Am Games. He went to Argentina. He met Evita. He graduated from Northwestern University at the time that they did not allow Blacks to stay on campus, so he stayed at the YMCA. And after all of his accomplishments, he went back to his hometown in hopes of becoming a teacher. But they did not hire Blacks in the school system. So I want to say thank you to our ancestors who put the work in, were denied but never gave up.

And I also stand here as Jamika and I break this glass ceiling with so much excitement for the future. Because I can picture Black trans women standing up here and Asian sisters and our Latino sisters and indigenous women. And I know that one day it won’t be unusual or groundbreaking; it will just be normal. Thank you to the Academy, to Netflix, to Denzel Washington, to George C. Wolfe, to Ann Roth, to Miss Viola Davis, to Matiki Anoff, to Andrea Resnick, to the spirit of Ma Rainey. Thank you.”

Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman” wins Best Original Screenplay

The Best Original Screenplay Oscar went to Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman” she started by saying, “I didn’t think I was going to win, so I don’t have a speech prepared, and I’m going to be in trouble with Steven Soderbergh [Oscar Producer]. I’m so sorry; I don’t want him to be cross with me.”

She continued, “This film was made by the most incredible people in the world, who made it in 23 days. They brought their complete genius and love and humor to it. And I have so many people to thank. I feel mortified that I’m here by myself when it’s not just my job at all. I want to thank Carey Mulligan for being not only the most talented person in the world but the kindest and funniest. I want to thank the producers for standing behind this film always and, you know, never giving up, and Lucky Chap, Focus, FilmNation. The cast and the crew, the greatest in the world, the kindest in the world. They just made me look good, and again, I’m just so grateful. And finally: my family, Mom, Dad, Coco, my husband Chris and our son.

Fennell’s Press Room Question:

Q. Congratulations. I am just so happy for you and proud of you. And you described this film as a “poison popcorn film.” Can you explain what that means exactly? And will you continue to make these “poison popcorn” movies?

A. I don’t know. I think I always hoped to make something that people would want to go and see that even if it’s about something difficult and troubling, that it would still be a movie that you would go and watch with your friends, with your boyfriend, and you would talk about it afterward. And so, part of it was that felt kind of glossy and feminine and poppy and that, yeah, but it was disgusting, some very difficult and dark subject matter. I think probably that is something I will do in the future a little bit.

Tyler Perry, 2021 recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

In perhaps the evening’s highlight, the Academy recognized Tyler Perry’s work by honoring him with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. The honor is given out periodically to an “individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.” An outstanding video explained his cause and documented his wonderful work.
Viola Davis, who collaborated with Perry on the 2009 film “Madea Goes to Jail,” presented the award.

In his stirring speech, Perry recalled a story about helping a woman in need buy a pair of shoes and how it served as a lesson in withholding judgment. “I want to take this Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and dedicate it to anyone who wants to stand in the middle,” he concluded, “… because that’s where healing happens, that’s where conversation happens, that’s where change happens. It happens in the middle. So anyone who wants to meet me in the middle, to refuse hate, to refuse blanket judgment, and help lift someone’s feet off the ground, this one’s for you, too.”

Press Room Questions:

Q. Congratulations. Your speech was just incredible. It was maybe the most moving moment of the night. You mentioned your mother a lot in that speech and what she taught you. Did you sense, as you were talking up there, that maybe she’s shined down, smiling down on you as you were able to deliver that message that she first gave you?

A. You know, I could feel her in the moment. I could feel her. Any time I’m up there, I’m carrying her with me in all she went through and all we went through together. You are absolutely right about that.

Q. I wanted to ask you what inspired you to share such a personal story?

A. Just where we are in the country and the world, and everybody is grabbing a corner and a color, and they are all nobody wants to come to the middle to have a conversation. Everybody is polarized, and it’s in the middle where things change. So I’m hoping that that inspires people to meet us in the middle so that we can get back to some semblance of normal. As this pandemic is over, we can get to a place where we are showing love and kindness to each other again.

Olivia Coleman and Anthony Hopkins “The Father” Sony USA

Anthony Hopkins was the last award of the night presented for Best Actor, and he was over the pond in Wales, at that moment although he posted to his Instagram account a heartfelt thank you the following day:

“At 83 years of age, I did not expect to get this award; I really didn’t,” said Hopkins in the Instagram video, standing in the beautiful Welsh countryside. He thanked the Academy and “paid tribute” to the late Chadwick Boseman, who “was taken from us far too early.” He also thanked the director and screenwriter of “The Father,” Florian Zeller, who, earlier in the evening, for Best Adapted screenplay. His thanks continued with Sony Pictures Classics, UTA, his team, his wife, Stella Arroyave, and his family. He ended by saying, “Again, thank you all very much. I really did not expect this, so I feel very privileged and honored. Thank you.”

Frances McDormand in “Nomadland” Searchlight Pictures

Frances McDormand won the Best Actress award, playing a nomad who hits the road after her small-town plant closes in the film “Nomadland.” Her third win; she ties Meryl Streep and Ingrid Bergman, who have three each, with the current record-holder, Katharine Hepburn, who has four. She quoted the Shakespeare play “Macbeth,” saying, “I have no words: my voice is in my sword. We know the sword is our work, and I like work. Thank you for knowing that, and thanks for this.” She then began to raise her head to the ceiling and howl, paying tribute to the “Nomandland” production sound mixer Michael Snyder, who died March of this year.

Scottsbluff, Nebraska is a filming location in the film “Nomadland” Scotts Bluff Monument sunset through Mitchell Pass. NPS Photo / Poffenberger

 

Sarah Knight Adamson, 16 years, Scottsbluff High School, Sweet 16 Pom Squad, Scottsbluff, Nebraska

For a 16-year-old living at the time in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, with dreams of attending the Academy Awards, fast-forward to 2021, I can say my Oscar press experience was not far off the mark, the behind the scenes press room allowed me to learn the mechanics of the show, along with tapping into the emotions of the victors. I am grateful for the opportunity.

What a fortuitous circumstance that my High School city of Scottsbluff, Nebraska (Go Bearcats!) was a key location in the filming of the Best Picture, “Nomadland.” We lived 12 miles outside of the city in the country; our large front bay window view was of the stunning Scotts Bluff Monument. Our home was surrounded by beet and corn fields that, at times, were swarming with farmworkers hand-picking the crops and tending the fields. Yes, I can relate to the term ‘nomad’ as I witnessed first-hand the families that came and left from our city and schools over my five years there. In fact, I overheard after a climb (800 feet above the North Platte River) up the Bluff (as locals refer to the Scotts Bluff Monument), during a High School reunion one of my classmates showing his wife where he and his family worked, he said while pointing down, “See that farm over there to the left, yep, that’s God’s country.”

My question to director Chole Zhao would have started with a thank you for capturing the Nebraska plains so beautifully, and I would have asked her what she enjoyed most about her visit to the picturesque area.

Sarah Knight Adamson© April 29, 2021

 

 

List of the 93rd Academy Award Nominees and Winners

Best Picture

The Father

Judas and the Black Messiah

Mank

Minari

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Actor

 Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal

 Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

 Anthony Hopkins, The Father

 Gary Oldman, Mank

 Steven Yeun, Minari

 

Best Actress

 Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

 Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

 Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman

 Frances McDormand, Nomadland

 Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

 

Best Director

 Lee Isaac Chung, Minari

 Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

 David Fincher, Mank

 Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round

 Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

 

Best Supporting Actress

 Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

 Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy

 Olivia Colman, The Father

 Amanda Seyfried, Mank

 Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari

 

Best Supporting Actor

 Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7

 Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

Leslie Odom Jr., One Night in Miami

 Paul Raci, Sound of Metal

 Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah

 

Best International Feature

 Another Round

 Better Days

 Collective 

 The Man Who Sold His Skin

 Quo Vadis, Aida?

 

Best Animated Feature

 Onward

 Over the Moon

 Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon 

 Soul

 Wolfwalkers

 

Best Documentary Feature

 Collective

 Crip Camp

 The Mole Agent

 My Octopus Teacher

 Time

 

Best Original Score

 Da 5 Bloods

 Mank

 Minari

 News of the World

 Soul

 

Best Original Song

 “Fight for You,” Judas and the Black Messiah

 “Hear My Voice,” The Trial of the Chicago 7

 “Husavik,” Eurovision Song Contest

 “Io Si (Seen),” The Life Ahead

 “Speak Now,” One Night in Miami

 

Best Original Screenplay

 Judas and the Black Messiah

 Minari

 Promising Young Woman

 Sound of Metal

 The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

 Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

 The Father

 Nomadland

 One Night in Miami

 The White Tiger

 

Best Cinematography

 Judas and the Black Messiah

 Mank

 News of the World

 Nomadland

 The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

 Emma

 Hillbilly Elegy

 Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

 Mank

 Pinocchio

 

Best Costume Design

 Emma

 Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

 Mank

 Mulan

 Pinocchio

 

Best Film Editing

 The Father

 Nomadland

 Promising Young Woman

 Sound of Metal

 The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Sound

 Greyhound

 Mank

 News of the World

 Soul

 Sound of Metal

 

Best Live-Action Short

 Feeling Through

 The Letter Room

 The Present

Two Distant Strangers

 White Eye

 

Best Animated Short

 Burrow

 Genius Loci

 If Anything Happens I Love You

 Opera

 Yes-People

 

Best Documentary Short

 Colette

 A Concerto is a Conversation

 Do Not Split

 Hunger Ward

 A Love Song for Latasha

 

Best Visual Effects

 Love and Monsters

 The Midnight Sky

 Mulan

 The One and Only Ivan

 Tenet

 

Best Production Design

 The Father 

 Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

 Mank

 News of the World

 Tenet

 

Christo Brock Interview “Brewmance”

Christo Brock Writer/Director “Brewmance” Sarah Knight Adamson-Interview-2021

I interviewed Christo Brock, the writer and director of the documentary film “Brewmance” on April 6, 2021, via Zoom. I enjoyed the film “Brewmance” as I learned so much about not only craft beers, I learned about the culture. It’s a hands-on, roll-up your sleeves culture—one that requires hard work, camaraderie, and a love of the process. Living in Long Beach, California, Brock became inspired to write a documentary film after attending meetings of the Long Beach Homebrewers. He met two homebrewers who are the main subjects of his film and followed them from start to finish to complete their dream of operating a brewery. Former “Reel Big Fish” trombonist Dan Regan of Liberation Brewing Co, 3630 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA, and Jesse Sundstrom and his father Dan, co-owner of Ten Mile Brewing, 1136 E Willow St, Signal Hill, CA, show us the process of transitioning homebrew to a large-scale operation.

Sarah Knight Adamson:

It’s so wonderful to meet you. Congratulations on your documentary film “Brewmance.” You not only teach us the history of craft brews, you actually teach us how to brew our own beer. My question for you, could you please explain to our audience and our listeners what exactly is craft beer?

Christo Brock:

Good question. Well, first off, craft beer is a beer that has not been brewed by a corporation. Now I’ve got to tread lightly on this, but the Craft Brewers Association has a strict definition about this, and usually, something has to be brewed from all malt, all natural ingredients, and it has to be independently owned,  in other words, people who just decided, “You know what, I like making beer and I’m going to start a little business” and really that’s kind of the heart and soul of craft brewers.

SKA:

Well, thank you for that answer. The title “Brewmance,” I love the title, by the way. Can you tell me how that came about?

CB:

Well, coming up with a title for a film is super important because you want to be unique, you want it to stand out, but the whole idea of “Brewmance “plays off the idea of romance and bromance. “Brewmance” is very encompassing where it also includes women because there’s a lot of wonderful women in the world of craft beer. But I think people who make beers love the process; they love making new tastes. There’s a love affair that goes on with something they’ve just created and that they’re going to share with people. Some people love the idea of exploring and coming up with new flavors.

SKA:

I saw a connection with the word bromance. Director John Hamburg’s film “I Love You Man,” 2009, with Jason Siegel and Paul Rudd, is the first time I heard of the word. I interviewed Hamburg and asked him about the term, and he said, “You know when we were making this movie, we didn’t even think of that or know of that term,” but now the term bromance is synonymous with “I Love You Man.”

I thought that’s pretty cool. What are your hopes for your film and your idea of this brewmance?

CB: I do hope that people will get to see this and get to experience a little bit of the world of craft beer and the values of it, because I really do think it’s about community, it’s about treating your competitor as your friend. That’s one of the things that struck me most about the world of craft beer is that there’s just this very strange cooperation and collaboration from people who are competing against each other.

SKA:

Yes, that’s really cool. By the way, I added the word brewmance to my Microsoft word program. I believe that there are now over 7,000 craft breweries in the United States. Can you talk about perhaps which states have the largest concentration of craft beer breweries? I know that our family lake place in Michigan has two brand new ones, and it’s just like they’re popping up more and more.

CB:

I can’t really speak to the concentrations but what I can speak to is that they are everywhere. I mean, this is one of the great things about beer and craft beer, so when you’re a big multinational beer manufacturer, you make your beer in St. Louis, and then you ship it around the country. And one of the reasons that we used to have just lagers is because they would travel well. All the little craft beers, they don’t last very long. So the great thing is now that we have all these little breweries in every little sort of corner of this country and in other countries, is that the beer is local, it’s responsive to the people drinking it, and it’s fresh and you usually can see the person who made it. I think that makes a big difference. You can be like, “Oh, that’s the brewer. Oh, cool.” And then it just gives the craft beer a whole different experience. It’s like there’s a story in the bottle or the glass.

SKA:

I really loved the music in your film. Did you know about the band “Reel Big Fish” before you met Dan Regan, the trombone player?

CB:

I’ll say I did not. I grew up on the East Coast, but all my friends from out in California were like “Reel Big Fish, yeah I grew up with them,” but I was a little bit like, “Oh cool, they’re great.”

SKA:

I really appreciated hearing the craft beer legend story. And it was great watching the film just to hear Fritz Maytag, and I’m like Anchor Steam that was my first craft beer.

CB: That was a lot of people’s first craft beer, right?  When I moved to San Francisco in 1989, just a month before the big earthquake, and then I started working at a bar, a jazz bar, and the big thing was the owners were like, and we serve Anchor Steam, and I was like, “What’s that?” But it was a big thing. It was like, “Oh, we have Anchor Steam on tap,” and people loved it.

SKA:

Yes, thank you for that; I appreciated all of Fritz Maytag’s stories. My final question, what was your favorite scene to film?

CB:

Well, this is a little perverse because I don’t think that I did a very good job of it, but without giving too much away, there’s a scene with Liberation [Brewery] towards the end of the film that gets a little tense.

When you’re a filmmaker filming something that’s delicate, there’s a very fine line between making sure you record the action but not being part of it because that’ll change what’s happening.

SKA:

So you try to be the fly on the wall.

CB:

Yes, and that’s when you really see like, “Oh wow, I’m capturing something real.” When they stop noticing you and life just goes on. I really like that.

SKA: I believe you accomplished that for sure. Thanks so much for speaking with me, and best of luck with the film.

*All photos property of “Brewmance” film

Sarah Knight Adamson© April 6, 2021

Emily Cohen Ibanez “Fruits of Labor SXSW Interview

Portrait of 4th World Indigenous Media Lab fellows, Ashley Solis Pavon (seated) and Emily Cohen Ibañez. Photographed at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in 2020.

The insightful film “Fruits of Labor” focuses on California Central Coast’s rich soil, the beautiful nature of the area, and the laborers that work the fields. Ashley, an energetic, vibrant teen, works in those fields to help provide for the family. Providing empathy for child and teen Farm Laborers, this beautiful film gives us a true picture of the situation.

Filmmaker Emily Cohen Ibanez met her when she was 15 years old—two years later, she filmed her senior year of High School, documenting her struggles of balancing school and her farm work. The film premiered at the SXSW 2021 Film Festival. I spoke with director Emily Cohen Ibanez shortly after the festival.

I interviewed Emily Cohen Ibanez for the Alliance of Women Film Journalists to read the entire article, click here: https://bit.ly/EmilyCohenIbanez-Interview

Find out below how you can help support the cause of child farm labor and organizations that are helping to make a difference.

SKA: Can you tell me when you met Ashley and her family?

ECI:
I met Ashley when she was 15. I was doing arts development work, creating a video collective in her town with communities from farm working families and college students. And Ashley just really stood out. She’s a sensitive young woman, she’s engaged, she’s an advocate for her community. She also had a wonderful eye and was teaching the young people camera, and she just had an enormous amount of curiosity. I was really drawn to her and wanting to continue her development as a young person and then got to know her family. Two years after meeting her and her family, I asked her if I could film her in her last year of high school.

SKA:
What can people support agencies that are working for better Farm Labor conditions? Also, are there local groups in the California Central Coast area?

ECI:
There are wonderful organizations like The United Farm Workers with a long history in organizing, especially for strawberry workers. There’s a Dolores Huerta Foundation that supports, especially young girls, Latina girls in farm working communities with their higher education.

The organization we worked really close with, and actually my sister is the executive director, and they started this group, Youth Growing Justice. They help the local community fight to reclaim city lands for community gardens. It’s called Community Agroecology Network. They do a lot of very specific work with youth. Ashley got to travel to Nicaragua and meet farmers there. We also work in Mexico. We do all these different exchanges between Mexico and Nicaragua, and California around food security.

Sarah Knight Adamson© March 31, 2021

 

 

 

http://bit.ly/EmilyCohenIbanez-Interview

Women Take Top Prizes at Critics Choice Awards (RogerEbert.com)

26th Critics Choice Awards

Women took home top honors at the 26th Critics Choice Awards on Sunday, March 7th, 2021. Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland” not only won Best Picture, but she was also awarded Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. Emerald Fennell‘s “Promising Young Woman” took home the Best Original Screenplay award as well as Best Actress for Carey Mulligan. At the same time, Ann Roth was the winner of Best Costume Design for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” In the television awards, “The Queen’s Gambit” won in the Best Limited Series category, as did its star, Anya Taylor-Joy.

Yes, the show did go on. Hollywood’s finest in film and TV were honored at the 26th Critics Choice Awards show in Los Angeles, California, via an in-person/virtual hybrid format. Taye Diggshosted for the third year and began the evening by joking about the stars wearing formal on the top and comfy on the bottom due to Zoom’s headshot format. All acceptance speeches were conveyed in this format worldwide—from private living rooms, home offices, and hotel suites.

The highlight for me was meeting Anya Taylor-Joy, in the winners press room, the Best Actress Award winner. Taylor-Joy plays Beth Harmon in “The Queen’s Gambit,” which follows her life in an orphanage in the mid-1950s as a burgeoning chess prodigy and continues into the 1960s, following her drug and alcohol addiction through to her recovery. Based on the 1983 novel by Walter Tevis of the same name, the seven-episode series was written and directed by Scott Frank, who created it along with Allan Scott.

MARCH 7: In this screengrab, Anja Taylor Joy, winner of Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television Award, arrives at the press room at the 26th Annual Critics Choice Awards on March 07, 2021. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for the Critics Choice Association)
Anya Taylor-Joy appeared wearing lovely deep red sheer gloves that matched the striking color of her strappy, floor-length gown. She answered the first question by a critic who said, “Many people feel that Beth Harmon’s story isn’t over, are there plans to continue?” She answered by saying that she appreciates that people want to spend more time with a character that she also loves, yet the series was always intended to be limited. She ended with a glimmer of hope, replying, “Never say never.”In speaking with her next, I praised her for her wonderful performance while informing her that I taught chess to my students as a former teacher. She said, with a look of surprise followed by a big smile, “Really?” I asked her, “What has chess taught you about the world?” She replied, “Oh goodness, it’s such a beautiful metaphor, you can have a plan that you will be able to adapt, you have to be able to pivot and to think on your feet, it’s important to know when to attack and when to defend, and you have to learn when to do both. You also know that you need all of the pieces on the board; it’s not just the Queen running around. You need every single one of them. I would say those are a couple of things that I learned from chess.”

If this were a typical show, I would have followed up by talking about the implications her female character has had on the game of chess for girls and women of the world. As most know, chess competitions have a history of boys and men leading the sport. The series reflects men’s unwillingness to treat females with respect in the game of chess and beyond. Her smart, hard-working character presents a bird’s-eye view of female perseverance, realizing individual rewards and breaking barriers.

As a side note, my father, Richard Knight, taught me to play chess in high school as I believe he wanted someone to play with, although it afforded me quality time with him as I was the oldest of five siblings. He bought me books by chess masters, we worked on openings, various pre-set boards, strategies, etc. I’ll never forget the day I finally won a match—I ran through the house cheering in jubilation. Years later, I taught gifted children and utilized chess to teach life lessons and critical thinking skills. I do thank my father for teaching me the game and miss him dearly.

Sarah Knight Adamson© March 7, 2021

 

 

Film Fest 919 Is Happening! They Built it, and They Came

Film Fest 919 In Chapel Hill North Carolina met the pandemic challenge by following a storyline of the Best Picture Academy Award Nominated movie “Field of Dreams. Yes, “If you build it, they will come” became a reality for Film Fest 919 Founder/Executive Director Randi Emerman as she and Co-Founder and Co-Director Carol Marshall rolled up their sleeves and tackled their inside theater problem head-on. Astonishingly, they built a new Drive-In theater with their partners at Northwood Ravin in Carraway Village in only 30 days.

New Carraway Drive-in Courtesy of Film Fest 919

Opening October 14 with director Regina King’s “One Night in Miami,” and closing October 31 with the 45th Anniversary of “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”  The festival featured 14 of the year’s most talked-about films. The Audience Favorite Award was a tie: “Nomadland” and “Fatman.”

“Nomadland” director, writer, and editor Chloé Zhao was also recognized with the Distinguished Screenwriter Award. “Fatman” co-writer and co-director Ian and Eshom Nelms were given the Spotlight Award.

I asked Randi Emerman to talk about some of the challenges of organizing and actually executing a film festival during a pandemic. She replied, “Our first decision had to be what the festival would look like. Carol & I talked and pivoted so many times, but we knew, in the end, our festival films needed to be seen in a theatrical environment.

Randi Emerman all smiles Opening Night…Courtesy of Film Fest 919

With theaters shut down, the drive-in experience was the answer.  A million decisions had to be made right away, ranging from finding the perfect location, actually building the giant screen, acquiring DCI compliant equipment, and financing the operation, not to mention programming and getting buy-in from studios and distributors. With perseverance and determination, we received the “go” just 45 days out from the development team of Northwood Ravin, and we flew into action to make it happen.

Now we were faced with our biggest challenge, how to finance the operation. Since March, we had applied for over 23 grants only to be turned down, while simultaneously approaching donors and sponsors. With so many canceled events, many of which did not offer refunds, we were simply unable to raise capital.  But together, we forged ahead, just the two of us with a handful of very dedicated volunteers, and pulled it off. Personally, the toughest experience for me,— Carol was unable to make the trip and not be here to see that beautiful picture up on that amazing giant screen.”

I asked Carol Marshall what she was most pleased about upon the conclusion of Film Fest 919? She answered, “My experience was quite different as I couldn’t travel to North Carolina due to the pandemic. Although I was able to handle many technical aspects from working with studios to managing things virtually while Randi dealt with everything on site.”

And what was the most gratifying part of the 2020 festival? “The fact that we were able to pull it all together in a very short period of time, a month and a half, is unheard of in the festival world. I was also really happy with the films we programmed, especially in a year where most films were pushed back theatrically to 2021. I was pleased that people came and were very supportive.”

Carol continued, “Opening night was my favorite moment as everyone who was helping got together for a photo; I’m in the photo via Facetime, that made it real for me.

Co-Founder Carol Marshall (pictured on the phone via FaceTime), Claire Harris, Lori Doherty, Co-Founder Randi Emerman, Maia Swan, Julia Glass. (Courtesy of FF 919)

For Randi not knowing 100% if the Film Festival was going to come together in time she became a little choked up during opening night as she was raised in a family of theater owners, and was filled with pride.

It does appear remarkable that the festival was actually going to happen in leu of so many others simply canceling. As a member of the Film Fest 919 Honorary Advisory Board, personally, I was amazed when we began discussing film programming in September—as I was wondering how in the world these plans were going to come to fruition.

Well, it did happen, but not without countless hours of planning, creative strategizing, execution, and sacrifice. The pro-active duo made it happen the way filmmakers wanted their films to be seen. They faced unbelievable obstacles along the way—two hurricanes, a tornado, an imploding server, and zero funding. They made their dream come true, and the community was the benefactor of a film festival the directors are proud of by focusing on their vision and the festival’s mission.

Here’s more great news, in early 2021, the Drive-in will have one-night showings during awards season for Film Fest 919. It looks like the adage, “If you build it, they will come,” played out for real in North Carolina—this journalist just got goosebumps. For me, my regret is the missed opportunity of not being able to attend and the chance that I may have heard someone say, “Is this heaven, while Randi or the 919 Film Festival team answered, No, it’s North Carolina.”

Sarah Knight Adamson© December 13, 2020

Dana Nachman Video Interview “Dear Santa”

Dana Nachman is known for her documentary films, and most recently, the 2018 “Pick of the Litter,” which was released by IFC Films and can be viewed on Netflix. The Walt Disney Company hired Nachman to remake “Pick of the Litter” into a limited original series for Disney+; she also served as a showrunner of the series and directed three episodes. My first awareness of Nachman was in 2015 when her film “Batkid Begins” played at our Chicago Critics Film Festival—an excellent film that presents a heartwarming story of a little boy’s ‘Make a Wish’ to be Batkid for a day.

After viewing “Dear Santa,” I was looking forward to chatting with Nachman as the film touches on so much more than children writing letters to Santa. She covers adult letters to Santa, underprivileged kids’ letters, and the elves’ gratification to fulfill the requests. The film is warm, inviting, captures the Christmas spirit of giving, and presents a call to action in volunteering at the United States Post Office. Who knew Operation Santa had been full force since 1907.

My interview with Dana was via Zoom on November 20; we had a great time touching on the film’s graphics and animation, the source material, and the need to get the word out due to the current pandemic and loss of jobs. Please check out the website, Operation Santa: https://about.usps.com/holidaynews/operation-santa.htm

Sarah Knight Adamson© December 4, 2020

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93rd Academy Awards 2021, a View From the Virtual Oscar Press Office

Oscars 2021-Reporting for Hollywood 360 Radio Network

Sunday, April 25, 2021, the day of the Academy Awards, began with a familiarity of anticipation that I have come to expect over the years—except this year was different, I was accepted to be a virtual member of the Oscars press. My day in New Buffalo, Michigan began by searching for a halo light to improve my Zoom video quality, and luck was on my side as I purchased one locally. The night before was spent rearranging furniture to prepare a suitable backdrop and workspace for an 8-hour stretch that encompassed viewing Red Carpet arrivals, Oscar-nominated song performances, interviewing winners, all while downloading photos, videos, and transcripts. By far, the most challenging job was toggling back and forth between the live Oscar show and the Oscar media room. All and all, the experience is one I will treasure, and I look forward to the day I will be able to report in Hollywood, California.

New Buffalo, Michigan–Lake Michigan sunset view, Saturday, April 24, 2021. Sarah Knight Adamson Photo Credit
Settling into the press room involved being on top of the situation and listening to instructions; we were guided like a well-oiled machine. I prepared questions for all 25 winners and delighted in hearing their answers as they spoke to the press. To experience their visual elation just moments after an Oscar win and to listen to their profound gratitude heightened my experience of viewing the Oscars all the years, as I’ve watched the show since I was ten years old while living in Los Angeles. Truly, this reporter felt a full-circle moment in my career, and I am grateful to be accepted among such esteemed journalists.
Sarah Knight Adamson, April 25, 2021

Protocol consisted of viewing a title card that announced who was stepping into the virtual press room, headphones were suggested as they reduced the chance of feedback. In terms of stepping, this is an accurate account as talent walked in front of an Oscar designed backdrop holding their Oscars and spoke to talent as they watched a large screen. The backdrop served two purposes, one for photos and speaking with press. Talent was announced, hands were raised, questions were asked. No follow-up questions were allowed, if your hand was raised and you were cued, and you were expected to ready to speak—while most importantly be in front of your camera and ready to go.

The winners have been announced for some time now. My Hollywood 360 Radio Network segment this Saturday night will cover a snapshot of my reporting, snippets of transcribed Oscar acceptance speeches, Oscar press room questions, and answers, along with standout highlights of the Oscar show and the backstage interviews.

Daniel Kaluuya, Best Supporting Actor for “Judas and the Black Messiah

Daniel Kaluuya won early in the evening, taking home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for “Judas and the Black Messiah.” He gave a heartfelt acceptance speech thanking God, his mom, and his family. Here is a segment of his speech that focuses on the film:

“Chairman Fred Junior and Mama Akua, thank you so much for allowing us into your life and into your story. Thank you for trusting us with your truth. I appreciate you deeply, and it’s an honor to partner up and stand side by side with you. And to Chairman Fred Hampton. Bro, man. Man, what a man. He was on this earth for 21 years, and he found a way to feed kids breakfast, educate kids, give free medical care, against all the odds. He showed me, he taught me him. Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, the Black Panther Party. They showed me how to love myself. And with that love, they overflowed into the black community and into other communities. And they showed us that the power of union, the power of unity, that when they play divide and conquer, we say unite and ascend.

Thank you so much for showing me myself. And yeah, man, there’s so much work to do guys, and that’s on everyone in this room, this ain’t no single man job. I look at this room, and I look at everyone, every single one of you, you got work to do, you know what I’m saying.”

Red Carpet arrivals Oscars 2021 Chole Zhao writer/directer Nomadland and Joshua James Richards, Cinematographer: Nomadland.

“Nomadland” the big winner of the evening, taking home the Best Picture, Best Director, and the Best Actress Oscars. Writer/director/producer Chole Zhao, appeared in the press room numerous times.

Here is a question that was asked after she won Best Director:

Q. Talk to me about all of this history coming your way all at once. How does it feel? I mean, you have literally smashed this glass ceiling that we often talk about. Tell me about what’s coursing through your veins right now.

A. Well, you know, I feel I’m very lucky I have parents who have always told me that who you are is enough, you know, and who I who you are is your art, you know? So I always try to stay true to myself and be surrounded by really great, supportive, talented people, so I really share this moment with them.

“Minari” Yuh-Jung Young, Best Supporting Actress winner. Director Lee Isaac Chung Credit: Courtesy of A24

Yuh-Jung Youn, the feisty grandmother in Minari, captured not only her grandson’s heart in the film she went home with an Oscar for her Best Supporting Actress role. Brad Pitt presented her the award as he was a producer of the film. Youn said in her acceptance speech that she does not believe in competition; she does not believe that her performance is better than Glen Close or the other nominees. Here are a few questions she answered in the press room.

Brad Pitt, right, poses with Yuh-Jung Youn, winner of the award for best actress in a supporting role for “Minari,” in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Union Station in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, Pool)

Q. Congratulations on such a historic win. You created the Oscar-winning grandma. What was the biggest challenge you faced in your acting career, and what did you get from (inaudible)?

A. Well, it’s not happened right at the moment because I had a long career. I’m trying to do my career, you know, step by step. And just sometimes it’s happy, very happy, when you get it. But for me, myself, I don’t believe in competition, especially in our field, because we are comparing a different movie. I’m just lucky tonight, just luckier than the other nominees, luckier than them. And maybe, who knows, it’s American hospitality for the Korean actor, I think.

Q. Congratulations on your win tonight. Brad Pitt was a producer on Minari, and you just met him for the first time. What was that like, and if you could do a movie with him, what genre would you choose?

A. That will never happen with my English and age, you know. I don’t think so, no.

Makeup and Hairstyling won the Oscar for the film “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, that consisted of fitting actress Viola Davis with a full set of gold teeth. Mia Neal’s acceptance speech spoke to people of color and their representation in the future.

Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson are the first Black women to win in the Hair and Makeup category. Makeup artist Sergio Lopez-Rivera also won.

MIA NEAL:
“I was raised by my grandfather, James Holland. He was an original Tuskegee Airman. He represented the U.S. in the first Pan Am Games. He went to Argentina. He met Evita. He graduated from Northwestern University at the time that they did not allow Blacks to stay on campus, so he stayed at the YMCA. And after all of his accomplishments, he went back to his hometown in hopes of becoming a teacher. But they did not hire Blacks in the school system. So I want to say thank you to our ancestors who put the work in, were denied but never gave up.

And I also stand here as Jamika and I break this glass ceiling with so much excitement for the future. Because I can picture Black trans women standing up here and Asian sisters and our Latino sisters and indigenous women. And I know that one day it won’t be unusual or groundbreaking; it will just be normal. Thank you to the Academy, to Netflix, to Denzel Washington, to George C. Wolfe, to Ann Roth, to Miss Viola Davis, to Matiki Anoff, to Andrea Resnick, to the spirit of Ma Rainey. Thank you.”

Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman” wins Best Original Screenplay

The Best Original Screenplay Oscar went to Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman” she started by saying, “I didn’t think I was going to win, so I don’t have a speech prepared, and I’m going to be in trouble with Steven Soderbergh [Oscar Producer]. I’m so sorry; I don’t want him to be cross with me.”

She continued, “This film was made by the most incredible people in the world, who made it in 23 days. They brought their complete genius and love and humor to it. And I have so many people to thank. I feel mortified that I’m here by myself when it’s not just my job at all. I want to thank Carey Mulligan for being not only the most talented person in the world but the kindest and funniest. I want to thank the producers for standing behind this film always and, you know, never giving up, and Lucky Chap, Focus, FilmNation. The cast and the crew, the greatest in the world, the kindest in the world. They just made me look good, and again, I’m just so grateful. And finally: my family, Mom, Dad, Coco, my husband Chris and our son.

Fennell’s Press Room Question:

Q. Congratulations. I am just so happy for you and proud of you. And you described this film as a “poison popcorn film.” Can you explain what that means exactly? And will you continue to make these “poison popcorn” movies?

A. I don’t know. I think I always hoped to make something that people would want to go and see that even if it’s about something difficult and troubling, that it would still be a movie that you would go and watch with your friends, with your boyfriend, and you would talk about it afterward. And so, part of it was that felt kind of glossy and feminine and poppy and that, yeah, but it was disgusting, some very difficult and dark subject matter. I think probably that is something I will do in the future a little bit.

Tyler Perry, 2021 recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

In perhaps the evening’s highlight, the Academy recognized Tyler Perry’s work by honoring him with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. The honor is given out periodically to an “individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.” An outstanding video explained his cause and documented his wonderful work.
Viola Davis, who collaborated with Perry on the 2009 film “Madea Goes to Jail,” presented the award.

In his stirring speech, Perry recalled a story about helping a woman in need buy a pair of shoes and how it served as a lesson in withholding judgment. “I want to take this Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and dedicate it to anyone who wants to stand in the middle,” he concluded, “… because that’s where healing happens, that’s where conversation happens, that’s where change happens. It happens in the middle. So anyone who wants to meet me in the middle, to refuse hate, to refuse blanket judgment, and help lift someone’s feet off the ground, this one’s for you, too.”

Press Room Questions:

Q. Congratulations. Your speech was just incredible. It was maybe the most moving moment of the night. You mentioned your mother a lot in that speech and what she taught you. Did you sense, as you were talking up there, that maybe she’s shined down, smiling down on you as you were able to deliver that message that she first gave you?

A. You know, I could feel her in the moment. I could feel her. Any time I’m up there, I’m carrying her with me in all she went through and all we went through together. You are absolutely right about that.

Q. I wanted to ask you what inspired you to share such a personal story?

A. Just where we are in the country and the world, and everybody is grabbing a corner and a color, and they are all nobody wants to come to the middle to have a conversation. Everybody is polarized, and it’s in the middle where things change. So I’m hoping that that inspires people to meet us in the middle so that we can get back to some semblance of normal. As this pandemic is over, we can get to a place where we are showing love and kindness to each other again.

Olivia Coleman and Anthony Hopkins “The Father” Sony USA

Anthony Hopkins was the last award of the night presented for Best Actor, and he was over the pond in Wales, at that moment although he posted to his Instagram account a heartfelt thank you the following day:

“At 83 years of age, I did not expect to get this award; I really didn’t,” said Hopkins in the Instagram video, standing in the beautiful Welsh countryside. He thanked the Academy and “paid tribute” to the late Chadwick Boseman, who “was taken from us far too early.” He also thanked the director and screenwriter of “The Father,” Florian Zeller, who, earlier in the evening, for Best Adapted screenplay. His thanks continued with Sony Pictures Classics, UTA, his team, his wife, Stella Arroyave, and his family. He ended by saying, “Again, thank you all very much. I really did not expect this, so I feel very privileged and honored. Thank you.”

Frances McDormand in “Nomadland” Searchlight Pictures

Frances McDormand won the Best Actress award, playing a nomad who hits the road after her small-town plant closes in the film “Nomadland.” Her third win; she ties Meryl Streep and Ingrid Bergman, who have three each, with the current record-holder, Katharine Hepburn, who has four. She quoted the Shakespeare play “Macbeth,” saying, “I have no words: my voice is in my sword. We know the sword is our work, and I like work. Thank you for knowing that, and thanks for this.” She then began to raise her head to the ceiling and howl, paying tribute to the “Nomandland” production sound mixer Michael Snyder, who died March of this year.

Scottsbluff, Nebraska is a filming location in the film “Nomadland” Scotts Bluff Monument sunset through Mitchell Pass. NPS Photo / Poffenberger

 

Sarah Knight Adamson, 16 years, Scottsbluff High School, Sweet 16 Pom Squad, Scottsbluff, Nebraska

For a 16-year-old living at the time in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, with dreams of attending the Academy Awards, fast-forward to 2021, I can say my Oscar press experience was not far off the mark, the behind the scenes press room allowed me to learn the mechanics of the show, along with tapping into the emotions of the victors. I am grateful for the opportunity.

What a fortuitous circumstance that my High School city of Scottsbluff, Nebraska (Go Bearcats!) was a key location in the filming of the Best Picture, “Nomadland.” We lived 12 miles outside of the city in the country; our large front bay window view was of the stunning Scotts Bluff Monument. Our home was surrounded by beet and corn fields that, at times, were swarming with farmworkers hand-picking the crops and tending the fields. Yes, I can relate to the term ‘nomad’ as I witnessed first-hand the families that came and left from our city and schools over my five years there. In fact, I overheard after a climb (800 feet above the North Platte River) up the Bluff (as locals refer to the Scotts Bluff Monument), during a High School reunion one of my classmates showing his wife where he and his family worked, he said while pointing down, “See that farm over there to the left, yep, that’s God’s country.”

My question to director Chole Zhao would have started with a thank you for capturing the Nebraska plains so beautifully, and I would have asked her what she enjoyed most about her visit to the picturesque area.

Sarah Knight Adamson© April 29, 2021

 

 

List of the 93rd Academy Award Nominees and Winners

Best Picture

The Father

Judas and the Black Messiah

Mank

Minari

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Actor

 Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal

 Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

 Anthony Hopkins, The Father

 Gary Oldman, Mank

 Steven Yeun, Minari

 

Best Actress

 Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

 Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

 Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman

 Frances McDormand, Nomadland

 Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

 

Best Director

 Lee Isaac Chung, Minari

 Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

 David Fincher, Mank

 Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round

 Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

 

Best Supporting Actress

 Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

 Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy

 Olivia Colman, The Father

 Amanda Seyfried, Mank

 Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari

 

Best Supporting Actor

 Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7

 Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

Leslie Odom Jr., One Night in Miami

 Paul Raci, Sound of Metal

 Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah

 

Best International Feature

 Another Round

 Better Days

 Collective 

 The Man Who Sold His Skin

 Quo Vadis, Aida?

 

Best Animated Feature

 Onward

 Over the Moon

 Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon 

 Soul

 Wolfwalkers

 

Best Documentary Feature

 Collective

 Crip Camp

 The Mole Agent

 My Octopus Teacher

 Time

 

Best Original Score

 Da 5 Bloods

 Mank

 Minari

 News of the World

 Soul

 

Best Original Song

 “Fight for You,” Judas and the Black Messiah

 “Hear My Voice,” The Trial of the Chicago 7

 “Husavik,” Eurovision Song Contest

 “Io Si (Seen),” The Life Ahead

 “Speak Now,” One Night in Miami

 

Best Original Screenplay

 Judas and the Black Messiah

 Minari

 Promising Young Woman

 Sound of Metal

 The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

 Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

 The Father

 Nomadland

 One Night in Miami

 The White Tiger

 

Best Cinematography

 Judas and the Black Messiah

 Mank

 News of the World

 Nomadland

 The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

 Emma

 Hillbilly Elegy

 Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

 Mank

 Pinocchio

 

Best Costume Design

 Emma

 Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

 Mank

 Mulan

 Pinocchio

 

Best Film Editing

 The Father

 Nomadland

 Promising Young Woman

 Sound of Metal

 The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Sound

 Greyhound

 Mank

 News of the World

 Soul

 Sound of Metal

 

Best Live-Action Short

 Feeling Through

 The Letter Room

 The Present

Two Distant Strangers

 White Eye

 

Best Animated Short

 Burrow

 Genius Loci

 If Anything Happens I Love You

 Opera

 Yes-People

 

Best Documentary Short

 Colette

 A Concerto is a Conversation

 Do Not Split

 Hunger Ward

 A Love Song for Latasha

 

Best Visual Effects

 Love and Monsters

 The Midnight Sky

 Mulan

 The One and Only Ivan

 Tenet

 

Best Production Design

 The Father 

 Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

 Mank

 News of the World

 Tenet

 

93rd Oscar Press Member Pre-Report”Together Together” H360 Film Review

Hi Carl, and hello to all of our listeners. This is Sarah Knight Adamson, and I have some exciting news; on Sunday tomorrow, April 25, I have been accepted to cover the 93rd Oscars and will be in the Virtual Pressroom during the Academy Awards.

The winners will appear in the Oscar Press Room by way of Zoom, and we will be able to ask questions.

Some of the presenters are Angela Bassett, Riz Ahmed, Viola Davis, Laura Dern, Harrison Ford, Regina King, Rita Moreno, Joaquin Phoenix, Brad Pitt, and Renée Zellweger.

The Oscar presentation locations will be Union Station, Los Angeles, The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, and International locations via Satellite.

Tune in at 7:00PM Central time, on ABC, and I’ll have Oscar updates right here next week.

Now, for tonight’s film review, “Together, Together” (R) stars Ed Helms, a single man in his 40s who’s lonely and decides that raising a child will change his life. He hires Anna, played by Patti Harrison, to be a surrogate mother.

Clip: “Why are you doing this alone? Because I am alone. I’m actually incredibly hopeful.

The film is written & directed by: Nicole Beckwith.

The Bottom-line, I’m in 3 stars out of 4; here’s a unique look at fatherhood from a single male’s point of view. Themes of friendship are explored, while boundaries need to be set. I liked this quirky little film, and it’s definitely for adults; Helms carries the role from start to finish.

Thanks so much for listening in tonight, and be sure to listen in next week as I give you an update on my Oscar coverage. Again this is Sarah Knight Adamson, your film and TV critic for Sarah’s Backstage Pass.com.

Sarah Knight Adamson© April 25, 2021

93rd Academy Awards, A View from an Accredited Oscar Press Member

THE OSCARS¨ – Key Art. (ABC) Artwork by Magnus Voll Mathiassen.

On the eve before the 93rd Oscars, I’ve been contemplating my years with the awards show and my love affair with it as it’s been a monumental part of my life since I was a child growing up in Los Angeles. As a ten-year-old, I have vivid memories of watching the show with my mother and savoring the jewels and gowns worn by the stars. Yet, the heartfelt emotional speeches bring back the most riveting moments of the show, along with the films’ music and movie clips. For a film enthusiast, which I’ve been all of my life, the Academy Awards is a magical occasion.

2018 Academy Awards Event, Variety the Children’s Charity IL Host Sarah Knight Adamson with , L-R Lindsey Valiulis Fleischhauer, Dr. Alicia McCareins, Sarah K. Adamson, Emily Danielson, Jessica DeLong

Over the years, I’ve held Oscar parties in my home, whereas for ten years, 2009-2019, I was asked to host the live telecast of the show benefiting Variety the Children’s Charity of IL ; I was also a member of the executive board. The garnered funds helped raise money for children’s adapted bicycles and wheelchairs. The Oscar event was held in various movie theaters in the Chicago suburbs. The tenth and last event I hosted took place in a beautiful venue, a gala affair to be exact, complete with a gourmet plated dinner and jaw-dropping decorations. In 2020, I applied for Oscar press credentials and was informed that their quota had been met for that year, and I was advised to summit again in 2021. I applied this year and am pleased to say I have been granted acceptance into the Oscar virtual press room. For me, this is a dream realized.

As a member of the Oscar press, the winners will enter the Oscar media center, and the press will be called on to ask questions. We will also be able to take screengrabs and photos. I can tell you that I am ready with my questions and am looking forward to the experience of covering the Oscars up close and personal. Check back as I will write another piece covering Sunday’s Oscars.

My predictions for the 93rd Oscars are listed below; they are chosen by whom I predict will wIn and who I want to win. I’ve seen all of the films, and of course, have my favorites.

I am rooting for Carey Mulligan, “A Promising Young Women” as her performance is outstanding, and the film is an important call to action. Yes, I did appreciate Viola Davis’s transformation in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and will be thrilled if she wins. I graduated from Scottsbluff High School; therefore, “Nomandland” struck a chord with me. Chloe Zhao captured the Nebraska plains beautifully, and I applaud her work. I’m also rooting for Diane Warren to win Best Original Song as I love the song “lo Sì (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)” staring the amazing Sophia Loren.

BEST PICTURE

“The Father”

“Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Mank”

“Minari”

“Nomadland”✓

“Promising Young Woman”

“Sound of Metal”

“The Trial of the Chicago 7″

DIRECTOR

Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round”

David Fincher, “Mank”

Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”

Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland”✓

Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”

Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”

Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”

Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”✓ 

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”

Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”✓

Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”

Gary Oldman, “Mank”

Steven Yeun, “Minari”

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”

Olivia Colman, “The Father”

Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”

Yuh-jung Youn, “Minari”✓

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”✓

Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami”

Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”

Lakeith Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah”

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

“Borat Subsequent MovieFilm”

“The Father”

“Nomadland”✓

“One Night in Miami”

“The White Tiger”

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

“Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Minari”

“Promising Young Woman”✓

“Sound of Metal”

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Sean Bobbitt, “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Erik Messerschmidt, “Mank”✓

Dariusz Wolski, “News of the World”

Joshua James Richards, “Nomadland”

Phedon Papamichael , “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

COSTUME DESIGN

“Emma”

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”✓

“Mank”

“Mulan”

“Pinocchio”

FILM EDITING

“The Father”

“Nomadland”

“Promising Young Woman”

“Sound of Metal”✓

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

“Emma”

“Hillbilly Elegy”

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”✓

“Mank”

“Pinocchio”

PRODUCTION DESIGN

“The Father”

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

“Mank”✓

“News of the World”

“Tenet”

SCORE

“Da 5 Bloods”

“Mank”

“Minari”

“News of the World”

“Soul” ✓

 ORIGINAL SONG

“Fight For You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Hear My Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

“Husavik” from “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”

“lo Sì (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)” ✓

“Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami…”

 ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND

“Greyhound”

“Mank”

“News of the World”

“Soul”

“Sound of Metal”✓

 VISUAL EFFECTS

“Love and Monsters”

“The Midnight Sky”

“Mulan”

“The One and Only Ivan”

“Tenet”✓

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

“Onward”

“Over the Moon”

“A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”

“Soul”✓

“Wolfwalkers”

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

“Collective”

“Crip Camp”

“The Mole Agent”

“My Octopus Teacher”✓

“Time”

 INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM

“Another Round” – Denmark✓

“Better Days” – Hong Kong

“Collective” – Romania

“The Man Who Sold His Skin” – Tunisia

Quo Vadis, Aida? – Bosnia and Herzegovina

 ANIMATED SHORT FILM

“Burrow”

“Genius Loci”

“If Anything Happens I Love You”✓

“Opera”

“Yes-People”

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT)

“Colette”

“A Concerto Is a Conversation”

“Do Not Split”

“Hunger Ward”

“A Love Song For Latasha”✓ 

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

“Feeling Through”

“The Letter Room”

“The Present”

“Two Distant Strangers”✓

“White Eye”

Oscar Ballot Download: https://assets.cdn.watchdisneyfe.com/delta/assets/oscars/Oscars_Ballot_2021.pdf

Sarah Knight Adamson©April 24, 2021

SXSW-2021 Part 3 Film Favorites, The Fabulous Filipino Brothers, See You Then, Tom Petty: Somewhere You Feel Free, Language Lessons, Potato Dreams of America

The South by Southwest (SXSW) 2021 virtual/online Film Festival March 16-20, wrapped, with a five-days of offerings. The Austin, Texas venue included their typical program of keynote speakers, film offerings, interview opportunities, networking sessions, Q&A discussions, and music festival showcasing.

All of these opportunities made for a great experience with many choices, in an easy-to-follow format that provided a safe environment for all during the pandemic.

Below is a list of the 20 films I screened listed in order of preference with capsule reviews, here are reviews for 11-15.

11. “The Fabulous Filipino Brothers”

The four real-life Filipino Brothers, Dante, Derek, Dionysio, and Darion Basco, grew up in Pittsburg, California, during the 60s and 70s. Their movie has charm, family-based themes, and the struggles of growing up in a large extended family. It’s also about their joy, love, admiration for each other. Dante Basco, the writer, and the director, is no stranger to show business. He’s made a name for himself in Hollywood, especially in voice overwork.

I appreciated the efforts to capture each brother’s story, as the differences in depositions and personalities are vast. Near the beginning, one character says with pride that Filipinos actually have “jungle Asian” roots, followed up with examples to back up the statement. In the same vein, Dante Basco reminds us that even with all of our differences, in many ways, we are the same. It’s a true celebration of Filipino-American culture, enlightening all to inside humor and banter.

I can recommend the film to all as the family events and themes are great for all of us to learn life lessons and basically go-with-the-flow. Be sure to stay for the end credits, as the home movies of the four brothers are well worth viewing.

12. “See You Then”

A magnificent study in the reconnection of two people who have a love history together that didn’t end well. Writer/director Mari Walker’s film, explores living through a trans woman’s experience with her former ex-girlfriend. Taking place over one night, the two revisit their old college campus and locations that open the flood gates of their memories.

Naomi (Lynn Chen) is a disenchanted art professor who agrees to meet her ex-boyfriend Kris (Pooya Mohseni). Their small-talk at first is cordial and somewhat congenial, although as the conversation turns toward heavier issues, the two become tense and uncomfortable. Kris relieves her transitioning to female while Naomi listens intently yet voices her frustrations in not knowing what Kris was going through as she was ghosted by her. Kris, on the defense throughout most of the film, attempts an explanation, yet Naomi remains emotionally wounded.

Walker juggles many themes while the characters’ lives unfold before us. It’s a fine line that requires a tight script, which is evident here. What’s truly remarkable is the incredible acting and discourse between the two women. Some of the dialogue is funny, while some are heavy-hitting, offering empathy for both.

13. “Tom Petty: Somewhere You Feel Free”

The documentary by director Mary Wharton has 16mm studio footage from 1994 and new interviews with Petty’s daughter Adria Petty, LP producer Rick Rubin, and Heartbreakers Mike Campbell, Steve Ferrone Benmont Tench. It gives fans and viewers insights into Petty’s musical genius and the making of his favorite album “Wildflowers.” We learn that Petty was on the brink of divorce, a soon-to-be record label switch and a change in the Heartbreakers’ lineup. Considered a Petty solo album, he explains why, “I wanted to be free of the democratic process,” he says in an interview during the making of the album.

Petty did make a switch from MCA to Warner Bros. to create “Wildflowers,” but in order to run out his MCA contract, he needed to deliver two new tracks for one final album, the 1993’s ‘Greatest Hits.’ “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” was recorded during a break away from “Wildflowers” in a different studio. Despite being a song that he needed to create to fulfill his obligations to MCA, the song became one of his most famous hits.

In writing the Wildflower title track, Petty says, “That one just came to me,” he continued explaining that in a single sitting. “I played the full song, from the top to the end, with all the music and all the lyric, in one go. I stopped the tape and played it back, and I was confused. I kept playing it again and again: ‘What do we work on? What do we change?’ And then I thought, ‘I’m not going to change it, I’m going to leave it exactly stream of consciousness.'” He commented in another section of the film that “The best ones come quick. They just fall out.”

The “Wildflowers” sessions produced 25 songs, of which Petty initially wanted to release a double album. At the time, with CDs popularity, it would have been very expensive to purchase. Petty decided to simply take off 10 songs. In 2020 all 25 songs were released as “Wildflowers & All the Rest.” The documentary provides commentary by Petty’s family, and viewers learn of his desires in creating music and the choices he made in the people he works with. Being a Tom Petty fan, I thoroughly enjoyed the film.

14. “Language Lessons”

Natalie Morales directs Mark Duplass and herself in this two-person film, taking place mostly on Zoom. The script is written by both Morales and Duplass, presents a wealthy guy, Adam (Duplass), who is given 100 hours of lessons on the Spanish language by his teacher Cariño (Morales), who’s Costa Rica-based. Though their first meeting begins uncomfortably, the two ultimately warm up to each other, especially after Adam opens up about his life, his relationship with Will, and Will’s death.
“Language Lessons” poses the question, how are we to process our grief during a pandemic? And also asks the question, is it possible to find romance during Zoom meetings. One would think the constant Zoom sessions would become boring to watch. However, to the contrary, the film keeps you engaged as we understand just a little more about each during the different sessions and actually begin to ‘care’ about each participant. When it’s later revealed that Cariño is also currently experiencing something arduous, we immediately are drawn in—wondering if she will open up to Will as he has to her.
Cleverly written with precision timing between the actors, the film is a joy to view. The film shows us human connection in its purest form, and I look forward to more collaborative films between Morales and Duplass. Don’t miss this sweet, heartwarming, uplifting tale.

15. “Potato Dreams of America”

Here’s a different kind of genre film, one that I enjoyed immensely, based on a Russian gay teen’s life and his new life in America. What makes this story even more interesting is that it hinges on a true story. Writer-director Wes Hurley’s childhood in Russia is a tale of woe—as it’s not easy being gay in Russia. He’s nicknamed “Potato” by his adoring mother, Vasili (Hersh Powers), and he doesn’t fare well in the ‘mean streets of the USSR. Hoping for a life in America, his dream is finally realized as mom decides to apply to be a mail-order bride.

As my suspicions were confirmed, the new husband was a bruting, bad-tempered right-wing idiot. The sensitive Potato doesn’t adapt to new dad John (Dan Lauria), as the situation becomes heated when Potato’s sexual orientation is revealed. The film is cleverly written as we know Potato’s inner thoughts, and there are many insightful ones. We root for him as he navigates these new situations as feelings.

My only concerns are the choices to show gratuitous sex scenes in the last part of the film, and I felt that up until this point, youngsters could benefit from filmmaker Hurley’s experiences with not only being gay but adjusting to life in America with a challenging father figure. The scenes referred to are not appropriate for under 17 years of age, as the film should be rated R. All and all, as an adult, those scenes didn’t bother me, although they were repetitive and overdone.

The Best Films SXSW-2021

  1. “Lily Topples the World”: 
  2. “Violet”
  3. “Fruits of Labor”
  4. ‘Under the Volcano’
  5. “Women Is Losers”
  6. “Hysterical”
  7. “Swan Song”
  8. “The Fallout”
  9. “Alien on Stage”
  10. “I’m Fine (Thanks For Asking)”
  11. “The Fabulous Filipino Brothers”
  12. “See You Then”
  13. “Tom Petty: Somewhere You Feel Free”
  14. “Language Lessons”
  15. “Potato Dreams of America”
  16. “Witch Hunt”
  17. “Here Before”
  18. In the Same Breath
  19. “Not Going Quietly”
  20. “Inbetween Girl”

Sarah Knight Adamson April 9, 2021

 

Emily Cohen Ibanez “Fruits of Labor SXSW Interview

Portrait of 4th World Indigenous Media Lab fellows, Ashley Solis Pavon (seated) and Emily Cohen Ibañez. Photographed at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in 2020.

The insightful film “Fruits of Labor” focuses on California Central Coast’s rich soil, the beautiful nature of the area, and the laborers that work the fields. Ashley, an energetic, vibrant teen, works in those fields to help provide for the family. Providing empathy for child and teen Farm Laborers, this beautiful film gives us a true picture of the situation.

Filmmaker Emily Cohen Ibanez met her when she was 15 years old—two years later, she filmed her senior year of High School, documenting her struggles of balancing school and her farm work. The film premiered at the SXSW 2021 Film Festival. I spoke with director Emily Cohen Ibanez shortly after the festival.

I interviewed Emily Cohen Ibanez for the Alliance of Women Film Journalists to read the entire article, click here: https://bit.ly/EmilyCohenIbanez-Interview

Find out below how you can help support the cause of child farm labor and organizations that are helping to make a difference.

SKA: Can you tell me when you met Ashley and her family?

ECI:
I met Ashley when she was 15. I was doing arts development work, creating a video collective in her town with communities from farm working families and college students. And Ashley just really stood out. She’s a sensitive young woman, she’s engaged, she’s an advocate for her community. She also had a wonderful eye and was teaching the young people camera, and she just had an enormous amount of curiosity. I was really drawn to her and wanting to continue her development as a young person and then got to know her family. Two years after meeting her and her family, I asked her if I could film her in her last year of high school.

SKA:
What can people support agencies that are working for better Farm Labor conditions? Also, are there local groups in the California Central Coast area?

ECI:
There are wonderful organizations like The United Farm Workers with a long history in organizing, especially for strawberry workers. There’s a Dolores Huerta Foundation that supports, especially young girls, Latina girls in farm working communities with their higher education.

The organization we worked really close with, and actually my sister is the executive director, and they started this group, Youth Growing Justice. They help the local community fight to reclaim city lands for community gardens. It’s called Community Agroecology Network. They do a lot of very specific work with youth. Ashley got to travel to Nicaragua and meet farmers there. We also work in Mexico. We do all these different exchanges between Mexico and Nicaragua, and California around food security.

Sarah Knight Adamson© March 31, 2021

 

 

 

http://bit.ly/EmilyCohenIbanez-Interview

SXSW-2021 Part 2 Film Favorites Hysterical, Swan Song, The Fall Out, Alien on Stage, I’m Fine, Thanks for Asking

SXSW Top 20 Films 2021

The South by Southwest (SXSW) 2021 virtual/online Film Festival March 16-20, wrapped, with a five-days of offerings. The Austin, Texas venue included their typical program of keynote speakers, film offerings, interview opportunities, networking sessions, Q&A discussions, and music festival showcasing.

All of these opportunities made for a great experience with many choices, in an easy-to-follow format that provided a safe environment for all during the pandemic.

Below is a list of the 20 films I screened listed in order of preference with capsule reviews, here are reviews for 6-10.

“Hysterical” (R)

HYSTERICAL — Pictured: Marina Franklin. CR: FX

The film centers on female standup comics, yet the title implies a mixed message as in women can be hysterically funny, yet the word hysterical was used to define women as crazy in the past. Yes, crazy in the sense that women should simply sit back and be still. These professional comedic women are doing nothing of the sort; they are working standup comic gigs throughout the country so they can be heard far and wide.

The female comics that speak about their experiences are, Kelly Bachman Margaret Cho, Fortune Feimster, Rachel Feinstein, Marina Franklin, Nikki Glaser, Judy Gold, Kathy Griffin, Jessica Kirson, Lisa Lampanelli, Wendy Liebman, Carmen Lynch, Moms Mabley, Bonnie McFarlane, Joan Rivers, Amy Schumer, Sherri Shepherd, Wanda Sikes, and Iliza Shlesinger. Unfortunately, these experiences are mindsets that are typical of the business, women aren’t as funny as men, females should be tolerant of men comics that make sexual comments to them, and that female comics should be paid less than male critics.

“Hysterical” follows the comedians through their rise into cultural relevancy, and we discover just how hard it has been for them.  Slow and easy pacing gives each comic time to share their accounts. The misogyny is apparent and frustratingly so last ‘years’ ago. It’s about time for a change in the comedic profession. The brave women speak out, and it’s refreshing to hear their honesty.

Andrea Blaugrund Nevins is the director.

“Swan Song” 

Udo Kier as Pat Pitsenbarger in Swan Song. Courtesy of SXSW Online 2021

In what can be described as screen legend Udo Kier’s role of his career, “Swan Song” gives him the freedom to spread his wings and fly. He plays retired hairdresser Pat Pitsenbarger living in a senior housing nursing home just outside of Sandusky, Ohio, of which writer/director Todd Stephens utilizes in many of his screenplays as this is his hometown.

His monotonous days are spent folding napkins while he’s constantly scolded by staff members about his secret smoking. Suddenly his world is jolted as he’s asked to prepare a former well-known, wealthy client’s hair for burial. One in which he had a major falling out, yet is impressed by her request, he says sarcastically,” Bury her with bad hair.” He embarks on a journey of nostalgia as we met former friends and townsfolk that help him along the way not only to find hair supplies, but answers to past questions Pat has about his life and his clients.

Having met Udo Kier several months ago during a zoom interview, I have to say he’s one of my favorite interviews of my career. For me, seeing him in this role brought a smile to my face as he carries it from the first moment he’s on stage until the credits roll.

Keir’s chandelier dance should be seen and enjoyed by all, it’s a film defining moment. Talk about “I’m Too Sexy for my Chandelier” he knocks himself off the runway with that number. One of my new favorite movie scenes ever.

“The Fallout”

Here’s a powerful film centered on High School teens in a tense situation with a live shooter in their School, Vada (Jenna Ortega) and another classmate, Mia (Maddie Ziegler), and Quinton, played by Niles Fitch, who has his wounded brother’s blood all over his shirt, lives are changed forever. Writer/director Megan Park explores the aftermath of the psychological trauma that follows after such a shocking event.

Park’s narrative is dreamily slower as we see the long days and nights consumed with reliving the events and the need to decompress. All three students now have an exceptional and forceful bond that carries them through the days ahead toward healing.

The muted sound design, along with long moments of silence broken only through texts and the sound of a phone buzzing, creates a sense of loss. The technique creates moments for all to take deep breaths and reconcile what has actually occurred. The parents try and hover; although love is apparent. Space is what’s needed and the company of those who experienced the tragic event. Excellent filmmaking with a focus on the different modes of grieving.

“Alien on Stage

The refreshing and uplifting “Alien on Stage” tells the story of a group of amateur English performers who had a dream of performing the movie “Alien” at their local theater—little did they know that the play would become and hit and end up at the famous Leicester Square Theater in London. Filmmaker’s Lucy Harvey and Danielle Kummer lead us on a heartfelt journey of a group of bus drivers that had a dream to perform.

Indeed, a story about passion, resolution, and fulfilling a dream utilizing creative talents. Speaking of talent, these actors were bonafide amateurs, which didn’t matter as they were having the time of their life. The roaring applause at the end of their early performances signaled that perhaps the group is on to something bigger—indeed they were as eventually they performed to sold-out crowds in London’s posh West End.

Having seen the clips of the play, I, too, would have loved to see the play live. The heart of this play is genuine, where all are winners. “Alien On Stage” shows the inspiration as day workers let their creativity flow by donning astronaut suits to step out of their lives, as the respite gains self-rewards. The props and set design are nothing short of hysterical, as most are made out of household items.

Celebrating dreamers and working together to create something extraordinary is the icing on the cake for the group. It’s the ultimate fan tribute as well.

“I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking)”

A single mom, Danny, who becomes homeless, convinces her 8-year-old daughter that they are camping in a tent for fun until she can work to get them a brick-and-mortar home. Writer, director, and star Kelley Kali provides a day in the life of a grieving widow who tries to secure housing for her family during current times, of which we are smack dab in the middle of a pandemic. Using roller skates as her mode of transportation, she desperately tries to work to save for rent money.

The team of Kelley Kali, Angelique Molina, and Roma Kong together take on a houseless single mother’s challenges while crafting a tale that tugs at the heartstrings. Covid is front and center, along with the feeling of hope. We see Danny being asked, “Are you okay?” She answers, “I’m fine,” when in reality she’s anything but fine. Her daughter starts asking when they are able to go home, and Danny has to make promises she may not be able to keep.

As the film progresses, we see the frustrations and the continued resourcefulness in which Danny handles her situation. Poignant and realistic are words that best describe the film.

The Best Films SXSW-2021

  1. “Lily Topples the World”: 
  2. “Violet”
  3. “Fruits of Labor”
  4. ‘Under the Volcano’
  5. “Women Is Losers”
  6. “Hysterical”
  7. “Swan Song”
  8. “The Fallout”
  9. “Alien on Stage”
  10. “I’m Fine (Thanks For Asking)”
  11. “The Fabulous Filipino Brothers”
  12. “See You Then”
  13. “Tom Petty: Somewhere You Feel Free”
  14. “Language Lessons”
  15. “Potato Dreams of America”
  16. “Witch Hunt”
  17. “Here Before”
  18. In the Same Breath
  19. “Not Going Quietly”
  20. “Inbetween Girl”

Sarah Knight Adamson March 31, 2021

SEE MORE FESTIVALS/EVENTS

Radio Podcasts

Oscar Recap, Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street★★★½ Hollywood 360 Radio Network Podcast

Hi Carl and Hi to all of your listeners out there. I’m not sure how many of you watched the Oscars last week, as it was a great night for me; I was in the virtual Oscar Pressroom meeting the winners after they were presented with their awards.

As part of the Oscar press, I was able to ask questions and listen to all answers. And the best part share their excitement!

Most of you know the winners so I won’t repeat those; I do want to say that “Nomadland” was a Big Winner taking home three top awards,
Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Director. Check out my Oscar article on Sarahs Backstage Pass.com

Next up my review of “Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street,” rated PG. The documentary story tells us the thought process behind the creation of the TV show in the 60s and how by the 70s, it was a household name. Interviews both new and archival tell the story in an easy-going format.

The show was created for children, and it didn’t talk down to its audience; it taught them important lessons on race, tolerance, and matters of life and death, while also teaching them their ABCs and how to count.
Marilyn Agrelo directs this love letter to “Sesame Street” and its cast of characters based on the book by Michael Davis. You may be surprised of the target audience for those who grew up watching the show either with their kids or as kids. Producers designed Sesame Street to look like an inner-city neighborhood, complete with trash cans and grouches. The set was modeled after a Harlem street corner in New York. The racially integrated cast served as an identifier as kids could see themselves. The show was ahead of its time in terms of casting racial equality.

The Bottom line: I’m all in, 3 and ½ stars out of 4. I appreciated the film footage of Jim Henson and the other puppeteers in action on set.

Here’s an outstanding look at how to help our children grow and learn in positive ways.
Thanks so much for listening in tonight; this is Sarah Knight Adamson, your film and TV critic, and I’ll see you next week.

Check out the radio podcast on Hollywood 360 Radio Network: http://bit.ly/OscarRecap-StreetGangH360

Sarah Knight Adamson© May 7, 2021

93rd Academy Awards 2021, a View From the Virtual Oscar Press Office

Oscars 2021-Reporting for Hollywood 360 Radio Network

Sunday, April 25, 2021, the day of the Academy Awards, began with a familiarity of anticipation that I have come to expect over the years—except this year was different, I was accepted to be a virtual member of the Oscars press. My day in New Buffalo, Michigan began by searching for a halo light to improve my Zoom video quality, and luck was on my side as I purchased one locally. The night before was spent rearranging furniture to prepare a suitable backdrop and workspace for an 8-hour stretch that encompassed viewing Red Carpet arrivals, Oscar-nominated song performances, interviewing winners, all while downloading photos, videos, and transcripts. By far, the most challenging job was toggling back and forth between the live Oscar show and the Oscar media room. All and all, the experience is one I will treasure, and I look forward to the day I will be able to report in Hollywood, California.

New Buffalo, Michigan–Lake Michigan sunset view, Saturday, April 24, 2021. Sarah Knight Adamson Photo Credit
Settling into the press room involved being on top of the situation and listening to instructions; we were guided like a well-oiled machine. I prepared questions for all 25 winners and delighted in hearing their answers as they spoke to the press. To experience their visual elation just moments after an Oscar win and to listen to their profound gratitude heightened my experience of viewing the Oscars all the years, as I’ve watched the show since I was ten years old while living in Los Angeles. Truly, this reporter felt a full-circle moment in my career, and I am grateful to be accepted among such esteemed journalists.
Sarah Knight Adamson, April 25, 2021

Protocol consisted of viewing a title card that announced who was stepping into the virtual press room, headphones were suggested as they reduced the chance of feedback. In terms of stepping, this is an accurate account as talent walked in front of an Oscar designed backdrop holding their Oscars and spoke to talent as they watched a large screen. The backdrop served two purposes, one for photos and speaking with press. Talent was announced, hands were raised, questions were asked. No follow-up questions were allowed, if your hand was raised and you were cued, and you were expected to ready to speak—while most importantly be in front of your camera and ready to go.

The winners have been announced for some time now. My Hollywood 360 Radio Network segment this Saturday night will cover a snapshot of my reporting, snippets of transcribed Oscar acceptance speeches, Oscar press room questions, and answers, along with standout highlights of the Oscar show and the backstage interviews.

Daniel Kaluuya, Best Supporting Actor for “Judas and the Black Messiah

Daniel Kaluuya won early in the evening, taking home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for “Judas and the Black Messiah.” He gave a heartfelt acceptance speech thanking God, his mom, and his family. Here is a segment of his speech that focuses on the film:

“Chairman Fred Junior and Mama Akua, thank you so much for allowing us into your life and into your story. Thank you for trusting us with your truth. I appreciate you deeply, and it’s an honor to partner up and stand side by side with you. And to Chairman Fred Hampton. Bro, man. Man, what a man. He was on this earth for 21 years, and he found a way to feed kids breakfast, educate kids, give free medical care, against all the odds. He showed me, he taught me him. Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, the Black Panther Party. They showed me how to love myself. And with that love, they overflowed into the black community and into other communities. And they showed us that the power of union, the power of unity, that when they play divide and conquer, we say unite and ascend.

Thank you so much for showing me myself. And yeah, man, there’s so much work to do guys, and that’s on everyone in this room, this ain’t no single man job. I look at this room, and I look at everyone, every single one of you, you got work to do, you know what I’m saying.”

Red Carpet arrivals Oscars 2021 Chole Zhao writer/directer Nomadland and Joshua James Richards, Cinematographer: Nomadland.

“Nomadland” the big winner of the evening, taking home the Best Picture, Best Director, and the Best Actress Oscars. Writer/director/producer Chole Zhao, appeared in the press room numerous times.

Here is a question that was asked after she won Best Director:

Q. Talk to me about all of this history coming your way all at once. How does it feel? I mean, you have literally smashed this glass ceiling that we often talk about. Tell me about what’s coursing through your veins right now.

A. Well, you know, I feel I’m very lucky I have parents who have always told me that who you are is enough, you know, and who I who you are is your art, you know? So I always try to stay true to myself and be surrounded by really great, supportive, talented people, so I really share this moment with them.

“Minari” Yuh-Jung Young, Best Supporting Actress winner. Director Lee Isaac Chung Credit: Courtesy of A24

Yuh-Jung Youn, the feisty grandmother in Minari, captured not only her grandson’s heart in the film she went home with an Oscar for her Best Supporting Actress role. Brad Pitt presented her the award as he was a producer of the film. Youn said in her acceptance speech that she does not believe in competition; she does not believe that her performance is better than Glen Close or the other nominees. Here are a few questions she answered in the press room.

Brad Pitt, right, poses with Yuh-Jung Youn, winner of the award for best actress in a supporting role for “Minari,” in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Union Station in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, Pool)

Q. Congratulations on such a historic win. You created the Oscar-winning grandma. What was the biggest challenge you faced in your acting career, and what did you get from (inaudible)?

A. Well, it’s not happened right at the moment because I had a long career. I’m trying to do my career, you know, step by step. And just sometimes it’s happy, very happy, when you get it. But for me, myself, I don’t believe in competition, especially in our field, because we are comparing a different movie. I’m just lucky tonight, just luckier than the other nominees, luckier than them. And maybe, who knows, it’s American hospitality for the Korean actor, I think.

Q. Congratulations on your win tonight. Brad Pitt was a producer on Minari, and you just met him for the first time. What was that like, and if you could do a movie with him, what genre would you choose?

A. That will never happen with my English and age, you know. I don’t think so, no.

Makeup and Hairstyling won the Oscar for the film “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, that consisted of fitting actress Viola Davis with a full set of gold teeth. Mia Neal’s acceptance speech spoke to people of color and their representation in the future.

Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson are the first Black women to win in the Hair and Makeup category. Makeup artist Sergio Lopez-Rivera also won.

MIA NEAL:
“I was raised by my grandfather, James Holland. He was an original Tuskegee Airman. He represented the U.S. in the first Pan Am Games. He went to Argentina. He met Evita. He graduated from Northwestern University at the time that they did not allow Blacks to stay on campus, so he stayed at the YMCA. And after all of his accomplishments, he went back to his hometown in hopes of becoming a teacher. But they did not hire Blacks in the school system. So I want to say thank you to our ancestors who put the work in, were denied but never gave up.

And I also stand here as Jamika and I break this glass ceiling with so much excitement for the future. Because I can picture Black trans women standing up here and Asian sisters and our Latino sisters and indigenous women. And I know that one day it won’t be unusual or groundbreaking; it will just be normal. Thank you to the Academy, to Netflix, to Denzel Washington, to George C. Wolfe, to Ann Roth, to Miss Viola Davis, to Matiki Anoff, to Andrea Resnick, to the spirit of Ma Rainey. Thank you.”

Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman” wins Best Original Screenplay

The Best Original Screenplay Oscar went to Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman” she started by saying, “I didn’t think I was going to win, so I don’t have a speech prepared, and I’m going to be in trouble with Steven Soderbergh [Oscar Producer]. I’m so sorry; I don’t want him to be cross with me.”

She continued, “This film was made by the most incredible people in the world, who made it in 23 days. They brought their complete genius and love and humor to it. And I have so many people to thank. I feel mortified that I’m here by myself when it’s not just my job at all. I want to thank Carey Mulligan for being not only the most talented person in the world but the kindest and funniest. I want to thank the producers for standing behind this film always and, you know, never giving up, and Lucky Chap, Focus, FilmNation. The cast and the crew, the greatest in the world, the kindest in the world. They just made me look good, and again, I’m just so grateful. And finally: my family, Mom, Dad, Coco, my husband Chris and our son.

Fennell’s Press Room Question:

Q. Congratulations. I am just so happy for you and proud of you. And you described this film as a “poison popcorn film.” Can you explain what that means exactly? And will you continue to make these “poison popcorn” movies?

A. I don’t know. I think I always hoped to make something that people would want to go and see that even if it’s about something difficult and troubling, that it would still be a movie that you would go and watch with your friends, with your boyfriend, and you would talk about it afterward. And so, part of it was that felt kind of glossy and feminine and poppy and that, yeah, but it was disgusting, some very difficult and dark subject matter. I think probably that is something I will do in the future a little bit.

Tyler Perry, 2021 recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

In perhaps the evening’s highlight, the Academy recognized Tyler Perry’s work by honoring him with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. The honor is given out periodically to an “individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.” An outstanding video explained his cause and documented his wonderful work.
Viola Davis, who collaborated with Perry on the 2009 film “Madea Goes to Jail,” presented the award.

In his stirring speech, Perry recalled a story about helping a woman in need buy a pair of shoes and how it served as a lesson in withholding judgment. “I want to take this Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and dedicate it to anyone who wants to stand in the middle,” he concluded, “… because that’s where healing happens, that’s where conversation happens, that’s where change happens. It happens in the middle. So anyone who wants to meet me in the middle, to refuse hate, to refuse blanket judgment, and help lift someone’s feet off the ground, this one’s for you, too.”

Press Room Questions:

Q. Congratulations. Your speech was just incredible. It was maybe the most moving moment of the night. You mentioned your mother a lot in that speech and what she taught you. Did you sense, as you were talking up there, that maybe she’s shined down, smiling down on you as you were able to deliver that message that she first gave you?

A. You know, I could feel her in the moment. I could feel her. Any time I’m up there, I’m carrying her with me in all she went through and all we went through together. You are absolutely right about that.

Q. I wanted to ask you what inspired you to share such a personal story?

A. Just where we are in the country and the world, and everybody is grabbing a corner and a color, and they are all nobody wants to come to the middle to have a conversation. Everybody is polarized, and it’s in the middle where things change. So I’m hoping that that inspires people to meet us in the middle so that we can get back to some semblance of normal. As this pandemic is over, we can get to a place where we are showing love and kindness to each other again.

Olivia Coleman and Anthony Hopkins “The Father” Sony USA

Anthony Hopkins was the last award of the night presented for Best Actor, and he was over the pond in Wales, at that moment although he posted to his Instagram account a heartfelt thank you the following day:

“At 83 years of age, I did not expect to get this award; I really didn’t,” said Hopkins in the Instagram video, standing in the beautiful Welsh countryside. He thanked the Academy and “paid tribute” to the late Chadwick Boseman, who “was taken from us far too early.” He also thanked the director and screenwriter of “The Father,” Florian Zeller, who, earlier in the evening, for Best Adapted screenplay. His thanks continued with Sony Pictures Classics, UTA, his team, his wife, Stella Arroyave, and his family. He ended by saying, “Again, thank you all very much. I really did not expect this, so I feel very privileged and honored. Thank you.”

Frances McDormand in “Nomadland” Searchlight Pictures

Frances McDormand won the Best Actress award, playing a nomad who hits the road after her small-town plant closes in the film “Nomadland.” Her third win; she ties Meryl Streep and Ingrid Bergman, who have three each, with the current record-holder, Katharine Hepburn, who has four. She quoted the Shakespeare play “Macbeth,” saying, “I have no words: my voice is in my sword. We know the sword is our work, and I like work. Thank you for knowing that, and thanks for this.” She then began to raise her head to the ceiling and howl, paying tribute to the “Nomandland” production sound mixer Michael Snyder, who died March of this year.

Scottsbluff, Nebraska is a filming location in the film “Nomadland” Scotts Bluff Monument sunset through Mitchell Pass. NPS Photo / Poffenberger

 

Sarah Knight Adamson, 16 years, Scottsbluff High School, Sweet 16 Pom Squad, Scottsbluff, Nebraska

For a 16-year-old living at the time in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, with dreams of attending the Academy Awards, fast-forward to 2021, I can say my Oscar press experience was not far off the mark, the behind the scenes press room allowed me to learn the mechanics of the show, along with tapping into the emotions of the victors. I am grateful for the opportunity.

What a fortuitous circumstance that my High School city of Scottsbluff, Nebraska (Go Bearcats!) was a key location in the filming of the Best Picture, “Nomadland.” We lived 12 miles outside of the city in the country; our large front bay window view was of the stunning Scotts Bluff Monument. Our home was surrounded by beet and corn fields that, at times, were swarming with farmworkers hand-picking the crops and tending the fields. Yes, I can relate to the term ‘nomad’ as I witnessed first-hand the families that came and left from our city and schools over my five years there. In fact, I overheard after a climb (800 feet above the North Platte River) up the Bluff (as locals refer to the Scotts Bluff Monument), during a High School reunion one of my classmates showing his wife where he and his family worked, he said while pointing down, “See that farm over there to the left, yep, that’s God’s country.”

My question to director Chole Zhao would have started with a thank you for capturing the Nebraska plains so beautifully, and I would have asked her what she enjoyed most about her visit to the picturesque area.

Sarah Knight Adamson© April 29, 2021

 

 

List of the 93rd Academy Award Nominees and Winners

Best Picture

The Father

Judas and the Black Messiah

Mank

Minari

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Actor

 Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal

 Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

 Anthony Hopkins, The Father

 Gary Oldman, Mank

 Steven Yeun, Minari

 

Best Actress

 Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

 Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

 Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman

 Frances McDormand, Nomadland

 Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

 

Best Director

 Lee Isaac Chung, Minari

 Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

 David Fincher, Mank

 Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round

 Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

 

Best Supporting Actress

 Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

 Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy

 Olivia Colman, The Father

 Amanda Seyfried, Mank

 Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari

 

Best Supporting Actor

 Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7

 Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

Leslie Odom Jr., One Night in Miami

 Paul Raci, Sound of Metal

 Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah

 

Best International Feature

 Another Round

 Better Days

 Collective 

 The Man Who Sold His Skin

 Quo Vadis, Aida?

 

Best Animated Feature

 Onward

 Over the Moon

 Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon 

 Soul

 Wolfwalkers

 

Best Documentary Feature

 Collective

 Crip Camp

 The Mole Agent

 My Octopus Teacher

 Time

 

Best Original Score

 Da 5 Bloods

 Mank

 Minari

 News of the World

 Soul

 

Best Original Song

 “Fight for You,” Judas and the Black Messiah

 “Hear My Voice,” The Trial of the Chicago 7

 “Husavik,” Eurovision Song Contest

 “Io Si (Seen),” The Life Ahead

 “Speak Now,” One Night in Miami

 

Best Original Screenplay

 Judas and the Black Messiah

 Minari

 Promising Young Woman

 Sound of Metal

 The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

 Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

 The Father

 Nomadland

 One Night in Miami

 The White Tiger

 

Best Cinematography

 Judas and the Black Messiah

 Mank

 News of the World

 Nomadland

 The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

 Emma

 Hillbilly Elegy

 Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

 Mank

 Pinocchio

 

Best Costume Design

 Emma

 Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

 Mank

 Mulan

 Pinocchio

 

Best Film Editing

 The Father

 Nomadland

 Promising Young Woman

 Sound of Metal

 The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Sound

 Greyhound

 Mank

 News of the World

 Soul

 Sound of Metal

 

Best Live-Action Short

 Feeling Through

 The Letter Room

 The Present

Two Distant Strangers

 White Eye

 

Best Animated Short

 Burrow

 Genius Loci

 If Anything Happens I Love You

 Opera

 Yes-People

 

Best Documentary Short

 Colette

 A Concerto is a Conversation

 Do Not Split

 Hunger Ward

 A Love Song for Latasha

 

Best Visual Effects

 Love and Monsters

 The Midnight Sky

 Mulan

 The One and Only Ivan

 Tenet

 

Best Production Design

 The Father 

 Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

 Mank

 News of the World

 Tenet

 

93rd Oscar Press Member Pre-Report”Together Together” H360 Film Review

Hi Carl, and hello to all of our listeners. This is Sarah Knight Adamson, and I have some exciting news; on Sunday tomorrow, April 25, I have been accepted to cover the 93rd Oscars and will be in the Virtual Pressroom during the Academy Awards.

The winners will appear in the Oscar Press Room by way of Zoom, and we will be able to ask questions.

Some of the presenters are Angela Bassett, Riz Ahmed, Viola Davis, Laura Dern, Harrison Ford, Regina King, Rita Moreno, Joaquin Phoenix, Brad Pitt, and Renée Zellweger.

The Oscar presentation locations will be Union Station, Los Angeles, The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, and International locations via Satellite.

Tune in at 7:00PM Central time, on ABC, and I’ll have Oscar updates right here next week.

Now, for tonight’s film review, “Together, Together” (R) stars Ed Helms, a single man in his 40s who’s lonely and decides that raising a child will change his life. He hires Anna, played by Patti Harrison, to be a surrogate mother.

Clip: “Why are you doing this alone? Because I am alone. I’m actually incredibly hopeful.

The film is written & directed by: Nicole Beckwith.

The Bottom-line, I’m in 3 stars out of 4; here’s a unique look at fatherhood from a single male’s point of view. Themes of friendship are explored, while boundaries need to be set. I liked this quirky little film, and it’s definitely for adults; Helms carries the role from start to finish.

Thanks so much for listening in tonight, and be sure to listen in next week as I give you an update on my Oscar coverage. Again this is Sarah Knight Adamson, your film and TV critic for Sarah’s Backstage Pass.com.

Sarah Knight Adamson© April 25, 2021

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93rd Academy Awards, A View from an Accredited Oscar Press Member

THE OSCARS¨ – Key Art. (ABC) Artwork by Magnus Voll Mathiassen.

On the eve before the 93rd Oscars, I’ve been contemplating my years with the awards show and my love affair with it as it’s been a monumental part of my life since I was a child growing up in Los Angeles. As a ten-year-old, I have vivid memories of watching the show with my mother and savoring the jewels and gowns worn by the stars. Yet, the heartfelt emotional speeches bring back the most riveting moments of the show, along with the films’ music and movie clips. For a film enthusiast, which I’ve been all of my life, the Academy Awards is a magical occasion.

2018 Academy Awards Event, Variety the Children’s Charity IL Host Sarah Knight Adamson with , L-R Lindsey Valiulis Fleischhauer, Dr. Alicia McCareins, Sarah K. Adamson, Emily Danielson, Jessica DeLong

Over the years, I’ve held Oscar parties in my home, whereas for ten years, 2009-2019, I was asked to host the live telecast of the show benefiting Variety the Children’s Charity of IL ; I was also a member of the executive board. The garnered funds helped raise money for children’s adapted bicycles and wheelchairs. The Oscar event was held in various movie theaters in the Chicago suburbs. The tenth and last event I hosted took place in a beautiful venue, a gala affair to be exact, complete with a gourmet plated dinner and jaw-dropping decorations. In 2020, I applied for Oscar press credentials and was informed that their quota had been met for that year, and I was advised to summit again in 2021. I applied this year and am pleased to say I have been granted acceptance into the Oscar virtual press room. For me, this is a dream realized.

As a member of the Oscar press, the winners will enter the Oscar media center, and the press will be called on to ask questions. We will also be able to take screengrabs and photos. I can tell you that I am ready with my questions and am looking forward to the experience of covering the Oscars up close and personal. Check back as I will write another piece covering Sunday’s Oscars.

My predictions for the 93rd Oscars are listed below; they are chosen by whom I predict will wIn and who I want to win. I’ve seen all of the films, and of course, have my favorites.

I am rooting for Carey Mulligan, “A Promising Young Women” as her performance is outstanding, and the film is an important call to action. Yes, I did appreciate Viola Davis’s transformation in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and will be thrilled if she wins. I graduated from Scottsbluff High School; therefore, “Nomandland” struck a chord with me. Chloe Zhao captured the Nebraska plains beautifully, and I applaud her work. I’m also rooting for Diane Warren to win Best Original Song as I love the song “lo Sì (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)” staring the amazing Sophia Loren.

BEST PICTURE

“The Father”

“Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Mank”

“Minari”

“Nomadland”✓

“Promising Young Woman”

“Sound of Metal”

“The Trial of the Chicago 7″

DIRECTOR

Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round”

David Fincher, “Mank”

Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”

Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland”✓

Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”

Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”

Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”

Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”✓ 

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”

Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”✓

Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”

Gary Oldman, “Mank”

Steven Yeun, “Minari”

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”

Olivia Colman, “The Father”

Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”

Yuh-jung Youn, “Minari”✓

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”✓

Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami”

Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”

Lakeith Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah”

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

“Borat Subsequent MovieFilm”

“The Father”

“Nomadland”✓

“One Night in Miami”

“The White Tiger”

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

“Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Minari”

“Promising Young Woman”✓

“Sound of Metal”

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Sean Bobbitt, “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Erik Messerschmidt, “Mank”✓

Dariusz Wolski, “News of the World”

Joshua James Richards, “Nomadland”

Phedon Papamichael , “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

COSTUME DESIGN

“Emma”

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”✓

“Mank”

“Mulan”

“Pinocchio”

FILM EDITING

“The Father”

“Nomadland”

“Promising Young Woman”

“Sound of Metal”✓

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

“Emma”

“Hillbilly Elegy”

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”✓

“Mank”

“Pinocchio”

PRODUCTION DESIGN

“The Father”

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

“Mank”✓

“News of the World”

“Tenet”

SCORE

“Da 5 Bloods”

“Mank”

“Minari”

“News of the World”

“Soul” ✓

 ORIGINAL SONG

“Fight For You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Hear My Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

“Husavik” from “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”

“lo Sì (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)” ✓

“Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami…”

 ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND

“Greyhound”

“Mank”

“News of the World”

“Soul”

“Sound of Metal”✓

 VISUAL EFFECTS

“Love and Monsters”

“The Midnight Sky”

“Mulan”

“The One and Only Ivan”

“Tenet”✓

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

“Onward”

“Over the Moon”

“A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”

“Soul”✓

“Wolfwalkers”

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

“Collective”

“Crip Camp”

“The Mole Agent”

“My Octopus Teacher”✓

“Time”

 INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM

“Another Round” – Denmark✓

“Better Days” – Hong Kong

“Collective” – Romania

“The Man Who Sold His Skin” – Tunisia

Quo Vadis, Aida? – Bosnia and Herzegovina

 ANIMATED SHORT FILM

“Burrow”

“Genius Loci”

“If Anything Happens I Love You”✓

“Opera”

“Yes-People”

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT)

“Colette”

“A Concerto Is a Conversation”

“Do Not Split”

“Hunger Ward”

“A Love Song For Latasha”✓ 

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

“Feeling Through”

“The Letter Room”

“The Present”

“Two Distant Strangers”✓

“White Eye”

Oscar Ballot Download: https://assets.cdn.watchdisneyfe.com/delta/assets/oscars/Oscars_Ballot_2021.pdf

Sarah Knight Adamson©April 24, 2021

Couchella Zoom Party? No Problem, Zoom 101 by Alexi Rabin

Alexi Rabin staff member of Sarah’s Backstage Pass, is ready for her Couchella Zoom Party!

Couchella Zoom Party? I’m Ready! Here’s How You Can Get Ready Too.

While the impacts of COVID-19 are extremely devastating and far-reaching, there is a silver lining: Zoom. While human interaction is now gone, Zoom has stepped in to save the day. Through Zoom, we can see, speak, and laugh with our coworkers, friends, and family from our respective couches.

Now that we’re spending much of our life on this application, we may as well get the most out of it. The following four tips expand upon the application’s uses, functionality, and entertaining features.

1. Versatility Galore!
My quarantine began on March 14th, and since then, I’ve utilized Zoom daily for a wide range of reasons:

• Business: The majority of businesses have felt the impact of coronavirus in one way or another. If you run a small business like me, you’ve likely had to change the way you execute your work. For my resume writing services, Zoom has allowed me to meet my clients face-to-face (through the screen). Additionally, Zoom has allowed large companies to conduct internal and external meetings, as well as maintain company culture. To spice things up, execute a company dress-up day and utilize Zoom to show off the results. Try a company-wide hat day to boost employee morale!

• Fitness: Without Zoom, I would’ve turned into a couch potato weeks ago, but Zoom has allowed me to join virtual fitness classes regularly. In fact, because I don’t have to leave the confines of my house, I actually work out more than I did pre-pandemic. Find an open area of your home and log into a Zoom yoga, Pilates, dance, or cardio class for a great escape!

• Social: If you haven’t scheduled a Zoom happy hour yet, I highly recommend it. At some points during these “gatherings,” I almost forget about reality and the current state of our world. It’s so refreshing to check in with family and catch up with friends, especially with a glass of wine in hand.

2. Lights, Camera, Green Screen Action!

“Woah, how did you do that?” is a question we all get once the green screen feature is activated. Achieve your dream background with the tips below:

• In the bottom left-hand corner of your screen, click the “^” arrow and then select “virtual background.” Once you choose your background, you will have the option to manually pick your wall color to give Zoom a better idea of where the image should appear. Once you click on your wall within the video, you’ll be transported!

• While the background options in Zoom are great, if you select the (+) sign in settings, you can upload your own image/video background. Personally, I like to hang out with Joe Exotic during my Zoom calls.

• To see the best results, position yourself in front of a solid-colored wall (green works best if you happen to stumble upon a green wall in your house).

• Do not wear clothing that blends in with your background.

3. Back to the Basics

There are a variety of settings and features that are available for both meeting hosts and participants. Depending on your role, you may want to consider the options below:

• Host: As a host, you’re able to make some key decisions when scheduling your meeting. Once you select the “Schedule” button, you’ll be able to decide the name of your meeting, date/time of your meeting, whether your meeting should be password protected, if participants should be muted upon entry and more. Once you finalize your meeting settings, you’ll have the option to “Copy Invitation.” Simply paste the invitation into an email and share it with your guests!

• Participant: As a participant, you’ll want to know first and foremost if your camera and/or audio is turned on. We’ve all experienced the accidental sound from a person who doesn’t know they’re unmuted. Whether you’re on your computer, tablet, or phone, the option to mute and turn the video on/off can be found in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.

• Host and Participant: Zoom allows the option to decide how you would like to see the others in your meeting. If you only want to see the person speaking, select “Speaker View.” However, if you’d like to see all participants Brady Bunch-style, select “Gallery View.” These options can both be found in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

4. Look Good, Feel Good!

During quarantine, many people are skipping their daily routine, whether it be makeup, hair, or clothing. If you just rolled out of bed, but want to look more presentable on Zoom, keep reading:

• The “touch up my appearance” button has recently become my best friend. This soft-focus feature smooths your skin, covers blemishes, and gives you a bit of a glow.

• Avoid overhead light and positioning your back near a window. While sunlight behind you is not very flattering, facing a window is a simple trick that truly compliments your face.

• Lastly, if you want to present your best angle, avoid Zooming with your laptop on your lap. Placing your laptop on an elevated surface and tilting the screen down a bit can make a big difference.

Next time you hop on a Zoom call, test out these tips and tricks. Stay well and happy Zooming!

Alexi Rabin-Staff Writer Sarahs Backstage Pass® April 24, 2020©

RogerEbert.com ‘Womens Writers Week’ Film Fest 919 Women Hold Key Positions

Sarah Knight Adamson, is part of Roger Ebert’s Women Writers Week 2020

Meet the women writers of women writers week 2020.

I was truly honored to be part of Roger.Ebert.com’s Women Writers Week, March 9-March 13, 2020. My article highlighted a new Film Festival helmed my Women — Film Fest 919.

Women Hold Key Positions in Chapel Hill’s Film Fest 919

What do remarkably accomplished women in the film and entertainment industry pursue to further their aspirations of promoting the arts? For Randi Emerman (Vice President of Marketing of Silver Spot Cinemas and former CEO of the Palm Beach International Film Festival), Carol Marshall (CEO and publicist of Carol Marshall Public Relations, Inc. and former overseer of talent and publicity for both the Santa Barbara and Palm Beach International Film Festivals), and Claudia Puig (a nationally recognized film journalist and president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn.) the answer was simple—take on the challenge of creating a new film festival.

Film Fest 919, named for the North Carolina Triangle, and located in Chapel Hill, began with Emerman and Marshall. Shortly after inception, they brought on Claudia Puig as Programming Director. The trio’s vision—to create a film festival that focuses on films that would be talked about and be recognized during awards season. In addition, Film Fest 919 would become part of the filmmakers’ journey while also giving the community an opportunity to see these films early, talk about them, and help support their awards platforms.

Speaking directly to each of the founders, filmmakers, and talent who were invited to participate enabled a professional yet relaxed atmosphere that allowed for repeat conversations throughout the five-days. Catching a casual one-to-one or group breakfast, lunch, dinner, or cocktails with filmmakers, talent, staff, and volunteers aided in congregating information from varied perspectives.

To read the entire article please click on the link: https://www.rogerebert.com/chazs-blog/women-hold-key-positions-in-chapel-hills-film-fest-919

  📷Film Fest 919 Photos October 2019📸

Sarah Knight Adamson,(Film Critic, Festival Guest) Randi Emerman, (Co-Founder) Lynn Roth, (Writer/Director), “Shepherd the Story of a Jewish Dog” attending a Film Fest 919 Brunch.
Chris Bergoch, (Writer “The Florida Project”) Sarah Knight Adamson (Film Critic Guest) having fun on the Red Carpet Film Fest 919
The beautiful, Silver-Spot Cinema Theater, Film Fest 919, Oct. 2019
Anthony McCarten writer of “The Two Popes” with Sarah Knight Adamson after our interview in the lobby of Silver Spot Cinema, Chapel Hill, NC Film Fest 919

 🎬 Dates for the 2020 Film Fest 919, are October 14 –18 🎬

My Bio on RogerEbert.com:

Sarah Knight Adamson is an entertainment and film freelance writer, and the weekly radio film critic for the nationally syndicated radio show Hollywood 360 Radio Network; she’s heard on 80 Salem Radio Network News/Talk stations, including WNYM-New York, KRLA-Los Angeles, and WWRC-Washington DC. As the former weekly Regional Arts and Entertainment columnist for the TribLocal newspaper, a Chicago Tribune subsidiary, her interview with Roger Ebert appeared in print. She’s also written for Chicago magazines. You can find additional information on her website: www.SarahsBackstagePass.com.

As a former teacher, Sarah’s taught a film criticism class in Chicago at Facets Cinémathèque for children and has served two years on the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival jury; and has served on other Film Festival juries in California and Tenn. Community interests include serving as a Chicago Public Library film panel participant, serving on the Executive Board for Variety Children’s Charity of Illinois, and conducting monthly film Q&As at local cinemas.

Member of the Chicago Film Critics Assoc., Alliance of Women Film Critics, NY, and the Critics’ Choice Assoc., LA. Twitter: @SarahsBackstage  Facebook: @SarahsBackstage

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Sarah Knight Adamson

Sarah Knight Adamson

Entertainment Journalist