Tuesday, October 26News That Matters

Tag: Zola (Movie)

TS Madison Steals the Spotlight

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Nineteen minutes into the film “Zola,” the actress TS Madison delivers a devotion that becomes a kind of mantra for the rest of the film.“Dear heavenly father, we come to you thanking you today for all the bounties that you’ve bestowed upon us, Jesus,” her character, a stripper named Hollywood, recites with her head bowed and her hands linked with several dancers backstage. “We are asking for a special prayer today,” she says repeatedly.The prayer — in which she begs for God to send Black men who are cultured, have good credit (“840!”) and are well endowed — was not in the original script.“It just flowed,” Ms. Madison, 44, said in a recent Zoom interview. “It’s just like all of my energy, all of my personality, all of my self flew into it.”On the call, she summoned that spirit once again. ...
The Riddle of Riley Keough

The Riddle of Riley Keough

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“Zola,” based on a notorious Twitter thread, is about people who use social media as an advertisement, but Keough prefers using it to puncture her own celebrity: Though she has starred in a few films for the hot studio A24, Keough hopped on her Instagram last year to breezily rattle off all the A24 movies she failed to book, including “Uncut Gems,” “Spring Breakers” and “The Spectacular Now.”Directors of those films messaged Keough to offer apologies, but the rejections hadn’t bothered her much to begin with. “I don’t care if I fail,” she said. “I have this attitude of, ‘Well, then I’ll just do better.’” And besides, there were bigger quandaries to spend that energy on.“I’ve lived my whole life in a sort of existential crisis,” she told me matter-of-factly, tucking strands of auburn hair b...
‘Zola’ Review: Twitter? I Hardly Know Her!

‘Zola’ Review: Twitter? I Hardly Know Her!

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“Is it as good as the book?” is a question movie critics often hear, whether the book in question is a Harry Potter adventure or something more highbrow. “Is it as good as the tweets?” is a new one, at least for this movie critic, and in the case of “Zola” it opens a surprisingly interesting line of inquiry. Tweets may or may not be literature, but as a storytelling medium Twitter has its own integrity, a rhythm and aesthetic that pose distinctive challenges for film adaptation.That’s what interested me, anyway. I should also note that this is a movie about strippers.Directed by Janicza Bravo (“Lemon”) from a script she wrote with the Tony-nominated playwright Jeremy O. Harris (“Slave Play”), “Zola” is adapted from a thread that galvanized Twitter back in 2015, when it was somewhat less do...
Colman Domingo’s Crooked Summer

Colman Domingo’s Crooked Summer

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Colman Domingo — actor, playwright, dramaturge, producer, professor and the fella who showed up to this year’s Oscars in a hot pink sequined Versace suit — is likely best known for his character of Victor on television’s “Fear the Walking Dead.” He’s also brought a sensitive soulfulness to the array of characters he’s portrayed in some of the past decade’s most prominent Black films: “The Butler,” “Selma,” “42,” “The Birth of a Nation,” “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”Movie audiences will see another side of Domingo in two of this summer’s most anticipated films: as a neighborhood old-timer in “Candyman,” a horror sequel directed by Nia DaCosta; and as a pimp named X in the indie film “Zola,” directed by Janicza Bravo and based on a viral tweet thread about two ...