Tag Archives: griffith

Parker’s ‘The Birth of a Nation’ Stirring Just As Much Controversy as the 1915 Original

Writer, director, and lead actor Nate Parker (The Great Debaters, Red Tails)’s The Birth of a Nation is now playing in theaters across the country, but not in the light the young filmmaker was hoping for. The film struggled to reach $7 million in domestic box office sales in its opening weekend. Several factors could have contributed to the surprising low, but the most likely cause of the low turn out is Parker’s 1999 rape allegations during his time at Penn State. Although Parker was exonerated, news that his alleged victim committed suicide in 2012 and his handling of the case back in 1999 have caused a great controversy that has women’s rights and sexual assault advocate groups shouting boycott all across the country.

While Parker’s film may be controversial in its own right, the original Birth of a Nation, which was a silent movie released in 1915, was just as controversial, if not more so. The original Birth of a Nation is remembered for its blatantly racial undertones and simultaneous impressive contributions to filmmaking. Continue reading

MGM And Paramount Pictures Preparing Remake Of 1959 Epic ‘Ben-Hur’

ben-hur

A remake of director William Wyler‘s 1959 epic Ben-Hur is currently in the works at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Paramount Pictures, and the producer’s and director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) are working hard getting the pre-production check list in order. Thus far the cast includes actors Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire, American Hustle), Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption, The Dark Knight), Toby Kebbell (Wrath of the Titans, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), and Nezanin Boniadi (Iron Man, The Next Three Days), with Rodrigo Santoro (Love Actually, 300: Rise of an Empire) making an appearance in the role of Jesus Christ. The story of Ben-Hur comes from the 19th-century book by Lew Wallace titled Ben Hur: A Tale of Christ, which tells the story of a Jewish prince who is betrayed by his Roman friend and sent into years of enslavement, only to regain his freedom and return to seek his vengeance. The original movie starred Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, and Stephen Boyd and won 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor (Heston), Best Director (Wyler), Best Cinematographer (Robert Surtees), and Best Supporting Actor (Hugh Griffith). The new movie is expected to be in theaters sometime in 2016, so we’ll be following it for a while; in the meantime you should definitely check out the original; you can find it available on both DVD and Blu-Ray disc.