The Oscars 2021

This year, the Oscars attempted to host a semi-virtual ceremony that was supposed to play out like a movie.

It did this with mixed levels of success — until the ending.

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FADE IN:

EXT. BEVERLY HILLS MANSION — NIGHT

MICHAEL (71, balding, white) sits across from LISA (64, slim, white) at a poolside table, looking out over Los Angeles lit up beneath them. Michael's tie is undone, and shirt partially unbuttoned to reveal a shock of greying chest hair he takes a long, satisfied drag on a CIGARETTE, then passes it to Lisa, who draws on it thoughtfully, looking into the middle distance.

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Culture Feature

Iconic Moments in Black History: The Legacy of "Black Panther"

Happy 3 year anniversary of the Black Panther film — a cultural phenomenon that showed the power of Black cinema

It's hard to believe that three years and one day ago, we lived in a world without the Black Panther movie.

The Marvel franchise is not lacking content. After years of movies about white, male superheroes and the success of the Avengers franchise, the Marvel Universe decided to take an unprecedented "risk" on a movie about the lesser known Black Panther — a movie that would have a predominantly Black cast.

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Kendrick Lamar is as prolific as he is innovative.

The Compton emcee is considered one of the greatest rappers of his generation. He's covered California gang culture, Black adolescence, and social justice in an almost cinematic fashion. The man known as Kung-Fu Kenny is a favorite amongst his peers, die-hard Hip-Hop fans, and even former presidents.

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2020 was a strange and strained year in so many ways.

Every aspect of culture has had to adapt to shifting circumstances. But cinema in particular — an institution based on the idea of large groups of people sitting in a tightly-packed room for two hours — had to adjust.

Schedules for both production and release have been continually disrupted, and despite efforts to convince audiences that they can feel safe returning to theaters, most have stayed away — and they are right to. As a result, a lot of great movies fell through the cracks.

The critically acclaimed Minari, for example, only saw a limited digital release for one week, with a theatrical debut scheduled for March. And the much anticipated News of the World is currently screening in theaters — even though Tom Hanks was the first famous face of the coronavirus pandemic.

With that in mind, it was a strange year to review cinema, but these are the best movies that felt safe to see in 2020.

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When news of Chadwick Boseman's death was announced back in August, the world grieved the loss of a true artist. This loss was made more apparent with his final role in Netflix's original film, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, starring Viola Davis and produced by Denzel Washington.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is a film adaptation of August Wilson's 1980 stage play of the same name. The story focuses on a fictional recording session in 1927 with legendary blues singer Ma Rainey (Davis) and her band in Chicago. Boseman plays the talented but arrogant trumpeter Levee Green.

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