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Beyonce Plays With Blue Ivy & Cradles Baby Rumi In Her Arms In Stunning Video For ‘Brown Skin Girl’

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While ‘Black Is King,’ Beyonce is queen and she’s joined by her princesses – Blue Ivy and little Rumi Carter – in her new breathtaking video for ‘Brown Skin Girl.’

There’s a touching moment at the start of the video for Beyonce‘s “Brown Skin Girl” where the 38-year-old music icon plays a clapping game with Blue Ivy Carter, 8. It’s a simple but powerful gesture, one showcasing an unbreakable bond felt between two Black women. Though “Brown Skin Girl” was a part of Beyonce’s Black Is King visual album, she released the stand-alone video on Aug. 24, celebrating all forms of Black womanhood. In the Jenn Nkiru-directed video, Bey snuggles her youngest daughter, 3-year-old Rumi. Cameos from Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong’o, Kelly Rowland, and more bring meaning to the words “Black Excellence.” It’s a visual cornucopia that remains very near and dear to Bey’s heart.

“It was so important to me in ‘Brown Skin Girl’ that we represented all different shades of brown,” Beyonce said in a brief statement to Good Morning America, who premiered the standalone video, per Variety. “We wanted every character to be shot in a regal light … It was important that we are all in this together and we’re all celebrating each other.”

Beyonce;s ‘Brown Skin Girl’ video proves why Black women are amazing. (Beyonce/Vevo)

The song is a celebration of Black women. “Oh, have you looked in the mirror lately? (Lately)” sings Beyonce on the song, per Genius. “Wish you could trade eyes with me ’cause (Oh) / There’s complexities in complexion / But your skin, it glow like diamonds / Pigment like the earth, you be giving birth / To everything alive, baby, know your worth / I love everything about you, from your nappy curls / To every single curve, your body natural / Same skin that was broken / Be the same skin takin’ over.”

Beyonce and Blue Ivy Carter arrive at the world premiere of “The Lion King” at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Images)

“Brown Skin Girl” was a highlight of The Lion King: The Gift, the soundtrack album curated by Beyonce for the 2019 live-action remake of The Lion King. The track features Saint Jhn, Wizkid and Blue Ivy, giving Bey and Jay-Z‘s daughter her second recording credit (after 2012’s “Glory,” a track by her father.) “Brown Skin Girl” also gave Blue her first-ever BET Award. She won the BET Her Award at the 2020 show, taking home the prize for best “neo soul and/or traditional R&B artists.” The song beat out “Underdog” by Alicia Keys, “Melanin” by Ciara, Lupita Nyong’o, Ester Dean, City Girls & La La, “I Choose” by Layton Green, “Tempo” by Lizzo and Missy Elliott and “Afeni” by Rhapsody and PJ Morgan.

Recently, the Carters were spotted taking a cruise around the Hampton. Beyonce and Jay, 50, took twins Rumi and Sir along with daughter Blue on their boat trip. Tina Knowles-Lawson, Bey’s beloved mother, also joined them upon the vessel, along with a few other unidentified friends. A few days after this trip, Bey (while going incognito, thanks to a gray hoodie, sunglasses, and a black facemask) touched down in New York City. It’s a rare occurrence to see the private Beyonce in public, so these sightings were a rare treat for fans.

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Netflix is developing a live action ‘Assassin’s Creed’ show

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Netflix announced this morning that it’s partnering with Ubisoft to adapt the game publisher’s “Assassin’s Creed” franchise into a live action series.

The franchise jumps around in history, telling the story of a secret society of assassins with “genetic memory” and their centuries-long battle the knights templar. It has sold 155 million games worldwide and was also turned into a nearly incomprehensible 2016 film starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, which underperformed at the box office.

The companies say that they’re currently looking for a showrunner. Jason Altman and Danielle Kreinik of Ubisoft’s film and television division will serve as executive producers. (In addition to working on adaptations of Ubisoft’s intellectual property, the publisher is also involved in the Apple TV+ industry comedy “Mythic Quest.”)

“We’re excited to partner with Ubisoft and bring to life the rich, multilayered storytelling that Assassin’s Creed is beloved for,” said Netflix’s vice president of original series Peter Friedlander in a statement. “From its breathtaking historical worlds and massive global appeal as one of the best selling video game franchises of all time, we are committed to carefully crafting epic and thrilling entertainment based on this distinct IP and provide a deeper dive for fans and our members around the world to enjoy.”

It sounds like there could be follow-up shows as well, with the announcement saying that Netflix and Ubisoft will “tap into the iconic video game’s trove of dynamic stories with global mass appeal for adaptations of live action, animated, and anime series.”

Netflix recently placed an eight-episode order for “Resident Evil,” another video game franchise that was previously adapted for the big screen. And it also had a big hit with its adaptation of “The Witcher,” which is based on a fantasy book series that was popularized via video games.

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Original Content podcast: ‘Lovecraft Country’ is gloriously bonkers

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As we tried to recap the first season of HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” one thing became clear: The show is pretty nuts.

The story begins by sending Atticus “Tic” Freeman (Jonathan Majors), his friend Leti Lewis (Jurnee Smolett) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) on a road trip across mid-’50s America in search of Tic’s missing father. You might assume that the search will occupy the entire season, or take even longer than that; instead, the initial storyline is wrapped up quickly.

And while there’s a story running through the whole season, most of the episodes are relatively self-contained, offering their own versions on various horror and science fiction tropes. There’s a haunted house episode, an Indiana Jones episode, a time travel episode and more.

The show isn’t perfect — the writing can be clunky, the special effects cheesy and cheap-looking. But at its best, it does an impressive job of mixing increasingly outlandish plots, creepy monsters (with plentiful gore) and a healthy dose of politics.

After all, “Lovecraft Country” (adapted form a book by Matt Ruff) is named after notoriously racist horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, but it focuses almost entirely on Black characters, making the case that old genres can be reinvigorated with diverse casts and a rethinking of political assumptions.

In addition to reviewing the show, the latest episode of the Original Content podcast also includes a discussion of Netflix earnings, the new season of “The Bachelorette” and the end of Quibi.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also follow us on Twitter or send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you’d like to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:36 Netflix discussion
3:18 “The Bachelorette”
6:30 Quibi
14:35 “Lovecraft Country” review
31:32 “Lovecraft Country” spoiler discussion

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The short, strange life of Quibi

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“All that is left now is to offer a profound apology for disappointing you and, ultimately, for letting you down,” Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman wrote, closing out an open letter posted to Medium. “We cannot thank you enough for being there with us, and for us, every step of the way.”

With that, the founding executives confirmed the rumors and put Quibi to bed, a little more than six months after launching the service.

Starting a business is an impossibly difficult task under nearly any conditions, but even in a world that’s littered with high-profile failures, the streaming service’s swan song was remarkable for both its dramatically brief lifespan and the amount of money the company managed to raise (and spend) during that time.

A month ahead of its commercial launch, Quibi announced that it had raised another $750 million. That second round of funding brought the yet-to-launch streaming service’s funding up to $1.75 billion — roughly the same as the gross domestic product of Belize, give or take $100 million.

“We concluded a very successful second raise which will provide Quibi with a strong cash runway,” CFO Ambereen Toubassy told the press at the time. “This round of $750 million gives us tremendous flexibility and the financial wherewithal to build content and technology that consumers embrace.”

Quibi’s second funding round brought the yet-to-launch streaming service’s funding up to $1.75 billion — roughly the same as the gross domestic product of Belize, give or take $100 million.

From a financial perspective, Quibi had reason to be hopeful. Its fundraising ambitions were matched only by the aggressiveness with which it planned to spend that money. At the beginning of the year, Whitman touted the company’s plans to spend up to $100,000 per minute of programming — $6 million per hour. The executive proudly contrasted the jaw-dropping sum to the estimated $500 to $5,000 an hour spent by YouTube creators.

For Whitman and Katzenberg — best known for their respective reigns at HP and Disney — money was key to success in an already crowded marketplace. $1 billion was a drop in the bucket compared to the $17.3 billion Netflix was expected to spend on original content in 2020, but it was a start.

Following in the footsteps of Apple, who had also recently announced plans to spend $1 billion to launch its own fledgling streaming service, the company was enlisting A-List talent, from Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro and Ridley Scott to Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez and LeBron James. If your name carried any sort of clout in Hollywood boardrooms, Quibi would happily cut you a check, seemingly regardless of content specifics.

Quibi’s strategy primarily defined itself by itself by its constraints. In hopes of attracting younger millennial and Gen Z, the company’s content would be not just mobile-first, but mobile-only. There would be no smart TV app, no Chromecast or AirPlay compatibility. Pricing, while low compared to the competition, was similarly off-putting. After a 90-day free trial, $4.99 got you an ad-supported subscription. And boy howdy, were there ads. Ads upon ads. Ads all the way down. Paying another $3 a month would make them go away.

Technological constraints and Terms of Service fine print forbade screen shots — a fundamental understanding of how content goes viral in 2020 (though, to be fair, one shared with other competing streaming services). Amusingly, the inability to share content led to videos like this one of director Sam Raimi’s perplexingly earnest “The Golden Arm.”

It features a built-on laugh track from viewers as Emmy winner Rachel Brosnahan lies in a hospital bed after refusing to remove a golden prosthetic. It’s an allegory, surely, but not one intentionally played for laughs. Many of the videos that did ultimately make the rounds on social media were regarded as a curiosity — strange artifacts from a nascent streaming service that made little sense on paper.

Most notable of all, however, were the “quick bites” that gave the service its confusingly pronounced name. Each program would be served in 5-10 minute chunks. The list included films acquired by the service, sliced up into “chapters.” Notably, the service didn’t actually purchase the content outright; instead, rights were set to revert to their creators after seven years. Meanwhile, after two years, content partners were able to “reassemble” the chunks back into a movie for distribution.

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