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‘Till’ NYFF Review: Chinonye Chukwu Handles The Emmett Till Story With Care

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Till directed by Chinonye Chukwu and written by Chukwu, Keith Beauchamp, and Michael Reilly follows Mamie Till, a woman who moved the nation with her resilience in the face of her teenage son’s death. The film stars Danielle Deadwyler, Jalyn Hall, Whoopi Goldberg, and Haley Bennett.

Mamie Till (Deadwyler) is a single mother living in Chicago with her 14-year-old son Emmett (Hall). The city is more accessible to adjust to than being Black in the south. As Emmett sings commercial jingles in front of the television, Mamie remarks that he didn’t stutter once, making it known that he has a speech impediment. The young boy is preparing to go on a trip to Mississippi (in the Jim Crow south) to visit family, but Mamie is apprehensive about him traveling. She warns him about his behavior around White people as a reminder that White people aren’t the same everywhere. Mamie is emotional at the train station as Emmett boards the train, and as the train pulls off, she stands there on the platform crying tears of sorrow. A Mother’s tuition is strong, and her facial expressions show she knows this will be the last time the two are together.

When we first see Emmett down south, he is picking cotton with his cousins. Country life is slow and uneventful for the carefree young man, so he compliments Carolyn Bryant’s (Bennett) looks without thinking of the consequences because she takes his forwardness as an insult. Emmett and his cousins want to keep the incident a secret from the elders and go about their business. But would it have mattered? Someone would have paid the price even if he was sent back to Chicago.

Chukwu’s film is less about what happened to Emmett Till and more about Mamie and how the Black community, from coast to coast, rallied around her as she tried to get justice for her son. His death became a national issue, broadcast all over the news, with families of all races weighing in on the news of his death.

What wasn’t anticipated was that other Black men were complicit in the demise of this teenage boy. It seems inconceivable that would be the case, but it is plausible. This situation changed the face of racial dynamics in America. Along the journey, Mamie learns this situation is no longer her own, but it belongs to the people whether she likes it or not. Top that off with her processing survivor’s guilt, she has no choice but to share her trauma out of self-preservation. No human can carry that load alone.

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Chukwu deploys some fascinating techniques–come right out of the horror genre. Dramatic close-ups, an eerie score, and the ominous air of dread reign throughout the film’s first half. The fear factor shouldn’t come as a surprise because to be Black in America, to be Black in this world, is to live in a state of terror. There is something about the way the film uses sound and score as an identifier. It also softens the blow, so the audience doesn’t have to see violence but can hear it, which can sometimes be worse than any visual can show. It’s shrill, piercing, and used as preparation for what comes next. The costumes styling by Marci Rogers is crisp and intentional regarding Mamie Till’s color palette and fashion that reflects the character’s mood.

“Carolyn Bryant is going to be fine,” said Mamie after reading the newspaper about the men who were indicted with no mention of Carolyn Bryant and her lies getting indicted as well. Mamie was right, though. In 2022, charges were brought against Bryant for kidnapping and manslaughter, but the Mississippi grand jury declined to move forward. There is proof she flat-out lied, and after his killers were found not guilty by the courts, they admitted to murdering the child out in the open but were allowed to thrive and live to old age, just like Carolyn.

I knew the end result of Till when I walked into the theater, but Chukwu, Beauchamp, and Reilly’s script shapes a film that follows the ripple effect of racial hatred and a death that shocked the U.S. in the 1950s. Modern-day society is still reeling from Jim Crow-era laws. The Senate just passed the anti-lynching law in March of 2022, 157 years after the 13th Amendment was ratified.

Till is an exceptional movie that probes inner and outer trauma and is an exhausting endeavor to sit through. Revisiting the life of the Till family is a reminder that the more things change, the more things stay the same.



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Netflix & Paramount+ To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’ ; TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome With Toon Series; ‘One Piece Film Red’ London Takeover — Global Briefs

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Netflix & Paramount+ UK To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’

Netflix and Paramount+ have struck a first of its kind-of-deal over a true crime documentary telling the story of the strip search caller in the U.S. Paramount+ has taken UK rights to Pervert: The Hunt for the Strip Search Caller and Netflix has rest of world on the doc, which it will be calling Don’t Pick Up the Phone. The deal is believed to be the first time two streamers have worked in such a way in the UK and rest of world. The doc tells the shocking story of a hoax caller who targeted fast food restaurants across the U.S. – posing as a police officer investigating a theft, the caller instructed managers to strip-search the young female employees he said were suspects. For many victims, what began as a humiliating strip search escalated into sexual abuse.

Canada’s TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome In Animated Series ‘Griffin And Turner’

EXCLUSIVE: Ontario, Canada’s TVOkids and Big Jump Entertainment are working on 2D-animated series Griffin and Turner. Based on real Canadian brothers who a significant online following, the show follows the supportive pair as they, their friends and family undertake personal challenges but focus on the journey rather than winning. Turner has Down syndrome, and TVOKids executive producer Kirsten Hurd noted the series has been developed in consultation with the Down syndrome community. Producer Big Jump is behind shows such as Shutterbug and Big Words, Small Stories.

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London Gets ‘One Piece Film Red’ Takeover After Record Haul

To celebrate the record-breaking haul of One Piece Film Red in the UK, the Straw Hat Pirates are set for a takeover of iconic London locations on November 26. Via local distributor Anime Limited and Toei Animation, the cast and memorable scenes from the series will be projected onto the County Hall of London, opposite the London Eye as well as other key locations. One Piece Film: Red has grossed over £800,000 in the UK and Ireland since it released earlier this month, making it the biggest of the long-running franchise. A phenomenon in Japan, One Piece Film Red has grossed $162M to date worldwide 



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‘All Quiet On The Western Front’, ‘Belfast’ Top 2022 EFA Arts & Crafts Awards

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Edward Berger’s All Quiet On The Western Front and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast top the European Film Academy’s Excellence Awards honoring achievement in the arts and crafts categories, the winners of which were announced on Wednesday.

Belfast won best European Production Design for Jim Clay, whose credits include Children Of Men, for which he won a Bafta in 2006, and Murder On The Orient Express.

The drama, set against the backdrop of the beginnings of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland in 1969, also won best European Costume Design for Charlotte Walter (Blithe Spirit, Misbehaviour)

Netflix-backed German WWI drama All Quiet On The Western Front won best European Make-up & Hair for Heike Merker, and Best European Special Effects for Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller and Markus Frank.

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 In other categories, best European Cinematography was won by Kate McCullough for her work on Colm Bairéad’s Irish-language drama The Quiet Girl.

Best European Editing went to Özcan Vardar and Eytan İpeker for Turkish director Emin Alper’s drama Burning Days.

Polish composer Paweł Mykietyn won best European Original Score went for Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO.

Best European Sound went to Simone Paolo Olivero, Paolo Benvenuti, Benni Atria, Marco Saitta, Ansgar Frerich & Florian Holzner for Michelangelo Frammartino’s cave exploration drama The Hole.

The winners, which are decided by a special expert jury, will receive their awards at the European Film Awards ceremony on 10 December in Reykjavík.

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Jennifer Lopez’s Social Media Mysteriously Goes Dark

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EXCLUSIVE: The actress, producer and top-selling performing artist’s social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter have suddenly gone dark in their featured/cover images.

Reps for Jennifer Lopez were unavailable for comment, but we hear from others that The Hustlers and Marry Me actress is on the verge of announcing a new project.

Here’s a look at her Instagram tonight:

While Lopez’s Instagram had erased all posts, a trail of her previous postings remained on Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter. Across all four social media portals, Lopez counts close to 347M followers, the majority of that coming from her Instagram.

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Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions in June 2021 signed a multi-year first-look deal with Netflix spanning feature films, TV series and unscripted content, with an emphasis on projects that support diverse female actors, writers and filmmakers. Lopez co-runs Nuyorican Productions with her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.

Lopez scored her best opening for a live-action movie at the domestic box office with STX’s 2019 stripper caper Hustlers which debuted to $33.1 million, and grossed $105M stateside, $157.6M worldwide.  As a recording artist, Lopez has sold over 70 million albums, with J.Lo became her bestselling album with 3.8M copies sold in the U.S. and 12M global. Her Netflix thriller The Mother from director Niki Caro is set to debut in May. Her romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding with Josh Duhamel will hit Prime Video on Jan. 27.

On Facebook, one of her followers, Steffany Merino wrote, “What’s happened? Hope you and your wonderful family are ok. I’ll pray for your health and safety.”

Again, we hear something special is in the works in the next few days.



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