Songs, Movies & Moments: April 2021

A Look at Entertainment

by T.J. Moore –

Netflix has acquired the Oscar-nominated short film Two Distant Strangers, according to Shadow and Act.

In the film, cartoonist Carter James’s (played by rapper Joey Bad A$$) repeated attempts to get home to his dog are thwarted by a recurring deadly encounter that forces him to re-live the same day repeatedly.

Director Travon Free continues to be awestruck by the traction his movie has been getting.

“When we set out to create this short in the middle of the simultaneous pandemic and social justice crises, we didn’t know what to expect,” Free shared. “But in just five days, we pulled off the nearly impossible to make this incredible film. And all of us have been so filled with gratitude to see so many people responding to this story of resilience and perseverance. Two Distant Strangers tackles a tough subject for everyone, but this is an effort to forge a new direction in the conversation. And now having Netflix come on board to bring that message to millions is an incredible opportunity.”

Michael Rainey, Jr.
Michael Rainey, Jr.

Power star Michael Rainey, Jr. was a victim of police brutality recently.

According to The Jasmin Brand, Rainey, who played Tariq on the show, released an Instagram story showing a Black police officer in plain clothes stopping Rainey and accosting him to show his license. In the story, the officer’s hand is near his waist as if he’s about to draw a gun.

“This guy was ’bout to shoot me. I swear the camera saved my life,” Rainey wrote in the Instagram story. “Look what he does as soon as he looks into the lens. Someone please send his precinct or whatever if (you) know. These power tripping a** police need their badge taken.”

Rainey added that it was an “unlawful traffic stop” and that the officer didn’t pull him over or tell him why he was being stopped.

“He came to the whip yelling with his hand on his gun, “Rainey continued. “This guy also said ‘Stop reaching’ while I was looking for my license. I guess he was trying to come up with a reason to shoot me.”

There’s no word about whether or not the police officer has been reprimanded or if any action has been taken against him.

Marsai Martin
Marsai Martin

Actress and producer Marsai Martin told the Hollywood Reporter recently that she won’t do projects that deal with Black pain and trauma.

“I have a couple of rules when you come into my office,” Martin said. “I don’t do Black pain. If it’s Black pain I don’t go for it because there’s so many films and projects about that, so that’s not who I am.”

Martin’s comment and rule are a continuation of the ongoing conversation film viewers are having about the number of Hollywood projects about Black pain and trauma. While showing the painful and brutal side of Black history is important, there are viewers who are facing fatigue at constantly seeing it on screen.

Martin’s latest project on the Disney Channel is an example of her dedication to highlighting Black joy.

Disney+ recently announced the cast for the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi event starring Ewan McGregor.

O’Shea Jackson, Jr.
O’Shea Jackson, Jr.

The story begins ten years after the events of “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith,” when Kenobi faced his greatest defeat, the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker—turned evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.

Deborah Chow will direct the series. She directed two episodes of The Mandalorian.

Alongside McGregor, the cast will also include O’Shea Jackson, Jr., Hayden Christensen, Moses Ingram, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, and Indira Varma.

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