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Race, Power and the Nina Simone Biopic

Who gets to make the choice?

The controversy over casting Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone raises big questions about race and privilege and power. One of the 4 essentials from Robert Horton and Steve Scher this week.

How do you feel about casting the big budget action star Zoe Saldana as the musician and civil rights leader, Nina Simone?

Nina Simone’s daughter, the singer Simone, weighed in with a nuanced take that Steve appreciated.
Here is the group behind the film. What do you think?

By the way, if you want to hear Ms. Simone in her own words, listen to her music, of course, interviews abound too and documentaries exist.
Here is a wonderful interview with the BBC from 1999.

Here are links to two documentaries.
What Happened Miss. Simone?

The Amazing Nina Simone.

Our other essentials.

Robert has been thinking about South American films. He was on a cruise in that hemisphere. He says two interesting films are worth checking out. “The Club” is about a home for priests who committed heinous acts.
The other is this years Oscar nominee from Columbia, “Embrace of the Serpent,” a trippy film about the European incursion from the perspective of a South American man.

“Midnight Special” is a new film from Jeff Nichols who Robert is not enamored of, though others are.

Recently Robert spent a lot of time with “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.” A legendary, big comedy with many cameo appearances by the comics of the day (1963). We agreed it was an odd way to spend a few hours.

And Bonus Essential. Robert spent 6 hours dissecting “Some Like It Hot” with a roomful of fans at SIFF. Not such an odd way to spend a few hours, actually.

Oh and by the way, Steve started the show with an obscure non sequitur about a new study on lying dubbed the Pinocchio effect. You might want to take note.