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It was a big, history-making weekend for black filmmakers. Here's why that matters.

For the first time ever, black filmmakers with $100M+ budgets landed the top two box office spots.

It was a great weekend at the box office for Disney — and an even better one for black filmmakers.

Director Ava DuVernay's "A Wrinkle in Time" opened at the #2 slot over the weekend, bringing in more than $33.3 million, behind the $41.6 million earned by "Black Panther."

What makes this such a big deal?


For one, it's the first time that two films by black directors with more than $100 million budgets took home the #1 and #2 slots at the box office — ever.

Additionally, "Black Panther" joined a very exclusive club in its fourth weekend in theaters, hitting $1 billion total in worldwide box office receipts, a feat that just 32 other films in all of cinematic history have accomplished.

[rebelmouse-image 19398046 dam="1" original_size="750x319" caption="Image via "A Wrinkle in Time"/Disney/YouTube." expand=1]Image via "A Wrinkle in Time"/Disney/YouTube.

"Black Panther" director Ryan Coogler recently wrote an essay about "A Wrinkle in Time" and why representation matters.

"Ava is the past, present, and future," wrote Coogler in a flattering ESPNW blog post. "She is all of these things, but sometimes I forget she is human."

Heaping well-earned praise on DuVernay for "adapting a book that many people called unfilmable," Coogler touched on why it's so important for everyone to be able to see people who look like them in the movies.

"But above all, it's a film about a little black girl with glasses — like my mom, like my wife, like my big sister Ava — who refuses to accept that her dad is lost. The main character in the film, Meg, uses her love, her hope, and her kickass skills as a scientist to bring him back, and maybe she saves the universe along the way."

[rebelmouse-image 19398047 dam="1" original_size="750x469" caption="Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler arrive at the world premiere of "A Wrinkle in Time." Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney." expand=1]Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler arrive at the world premiere of "A Wrinkle in Time." Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney.

For too long, marginalized filmmakers simply haven't been given a chance to helm big-budget blockbusters. DuVernay and Coogler's successes might change that.

It's interesting to see what we've determined to be the "default" in popular culture. The majority of big-name movies are written and directed by men (usually white); they also overwhelmingly star men (again, usually white). Over time, our culture has simply accepted this as the default, and anything that challenges this is viewed as suspect.

One example that comes to mind is a tweet from Grace Randolph, a film critic who runs the YouTube page Beyond the Trailer. In late February, Randolph tweeted out a photo of the "A Wrinkle in Time" poster, writing, "This is a GREAT poster — but don't they want little boys to see this too ... ?"

The poster shows a silhouette of actress Storm Reid's Meg, surrounded by a burst of colors. It's breathtaking, and as Randolph said, "a GREAT poster."

So why is the immediate reaction that a movie featuring a young girl is somehow alienating young boys? People (especially women) of color, women generally, disabled people, and LGBTQ individuals have always been expected to overcome their differences from what they see portrayed in the media, and it's fascinating to see what happens anytime that same expectation is placed on the default.

If someone can understand why a poster or a movie that doesn't center this default audience might alienate that group, then it shouldn't be too hard to understand why it's so necessary to create art that targets those outside of it.

[rebelmouse-image 19398048 dam="1" original_size="750x311" caption="Image via "A Wrinkle in Time"/Disney/YouTube." expand=1]Image via "A Wrinkle in Time"/Disney/YouTube.

Not every film by a marginalized person will be a box-office smash, and that's OK.

What's important is that studios are finally coming to realize that stories told by (and even, occasionally, primarily for) underrepresented groups have big earning potential and can be some of the finest art in the world — especially when combined with the budgets and resources so often allocated to films helmed by white men.

Studios should let marginalized people tell their stories, encourage them to take chances, and show the rest of us what we've been missing out on all these years.

That first car is a rite of passage into adulthood. Specifically, the hard-earned lesson of expectations versus reality. Though some of us are blessed with Teslas at 17, most teenagers receive a car that’s been … let’s say previously loved. And that’s probably a good thing, considering nearly half of first-year drivers end up in wrecks. Might as well get the dings on the lemon, right?

Of course, wrecks aside, buying a used car might end up costing more in the long run after needing repairs, breaking down and just a general slew of unexpected surprises. But hey, at least we can all look back and laugh.

My first car, for example, was a hand-me-down Toyota of some sort from my mother. I don’t recall the specific model, but I definitely remember getting into a fender bender within the first week of having it. She had forgotten to get the brakes fixed … isn’t that a fun story?

Jimmy Fallon recently asked his “Tonight Show” audience on Twitter to share their own worst car experiences. Some of them make my brake fiasco look like cakewalk (or cakedrive, in this case). Either way, these responses might make us all feel a little less alone. Or at the very least, give us a chuckle.

Here are 22 responses with the most horsepower:

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Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani wows audiences with his amazing musical talents.

Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.

Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.

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Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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