31 Dec 2015 ’15 Addictions, One Offs and Shout Outs
This year’s eclectic list includes shout outs to some of the talent who make it happen off screen as well as on screen, whether discovered as new, rediscovered or simply appreciated in 2015. It was a good year for nostalgia. So, in no particular order…
Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives – Shout out to DJ Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito for taking us on their nostalgia trip, back to my home town, NY and nineties hip hop. The LA premiere, in September, had that feel good vibe that I remember when I first got to LA in ’93… Good times. And as far as DJ’s go, Stretch has not only been a tastemaker on radio, but hands down, my favorite club DJ. If you loved nineties hip hop, see it and if you lived it, definitely see it!
River – Huge shout out to creator/writer Abi Morgan. I can’t imagine anyone else evoking the pathos that Stellan Skarsgård does, as River. He is exceptional opposite Nicola Walker, Adeel Akhtar and Eddie Marsan.
The Game – Shout out to Toby Whithouse (creator of another favorite, Being Human) and the cast led by Tom Hughes and Brian Cox. Excellent production design begs a shout out to Michael Howells for this enigmatic drama set in 1972.
Bessie – Shout out to co-writer/director Dee Rees, Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, Khandi Alexander, Michael K. Williams and a team that wouldn’t quit to get this film made. At the Q&A they said it took twenty years… And in that time, Latifah’s profile grew to a place where this finally became possible. Yes!
Mr. Robot – Shout out to USA network for giving creator/writer, Sam Esmail and pilot director, Niels Arden Oplev the space to do something original, dark and “out there” with a cast led by Rami Malek.
Babylon – Shout out to director, Danny Boyle. This show has the freshest tone I’ve come across in years; with its uniquely British blend of dark comedy and serious drama. It’s laced with rapid-fire, clever dialogue that also begs a shout out to the writers, Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain. Great cast led by Brit Marling and James Nesbitt…
Deutschland 83 – Shout out to the creators, Anna Winger and Jörg Winger and the cast led by Jonas Nay for taking us back to 1983 with Cold War tensions peaking between East and West Germany.
Straight Outta Compton – Shout out to F. Gary Gray, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Aldis Hodge, Neil Brown Jr., Marlon Yates Jr., R. Marcos Taylor. This took me back…
Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee – Shout out to Crackle for having the vision to run with Jerry Seinfeld’s simple, but clever idea… because it led to Seinfeld and POTUS “cruisin’ down the street” in a ’63 Chevy Corvette.
Vikings – This series is an addiction, therefore a supreme shout out to creator and sole writer, Michael Hirst is due… The writing, casting and crafting of this show is unparalleled. I didn’t think it was possible, but every season tops the last one.
House of Cards – Shout out to director, James Foley and writer, Melissa James Gibson for chapter 32. Robin Wright owns this episode.
ARRAY – Shout out to director, writer, colleague and inspirational woman, Ava DuVernay. In a year where diversity has been publicly discussed and high profile women have used their voices to be heard about equal opportunity and equal pay, ARRAY shines, as it gives distribution to films from a diverse worldwide pool of filmmakers. I’m proud to be a member and to support Ava’s brainchild AFFRM, as it has evolved into ARRAY…
Rectify – Shout out to director, Bill Gierhart and writer, Coleman Herbert for “Sown With Salt”. Going from strength to strength, this series continues to be a great character study led by Aden Young and Abigail Spencer.
Mad Men – A one off event to say a final farewell…
“Knowledge” – Lady Chann ft Flowdan
“Sound The Alarm” – Navigator ft Skarra Mucci
“Squarewave Shuffle” – Impey
“Police officer (Vital Techniques & Mikey B remix)” – Squarewave & Doctor
“Passing Me By (Redo)” Marti Nikko & DJ Drez
“Humble Yourself” – Emeterians
“Trick Or Treat” EP – 6Blocc
“The Apprentice, The Elder & Me” – Jhelisa
Thanks to my friend and spiritual sister, Jhelisa, this is how we meditate out the old year and bring in the new… Happy 2016!