The architect Chad Oppenheim designed a stunning three-story house for the director Michael Bay in Los Angeles. Each storey of this hillside house is a separate module stacked one on top of the other on a different angle.
Our L.A. Woman cover star has three very different, incredibly ambitious projects in the works
At last year’s Academy Awards, Ava DuVernay was the first black female director to have a film—Selma—nominated for Best Picture. That she was not nominated for Best Director helped spark the #OscarsSoWhite movement. Ask DuVernay and she’ll tell you being omitted was no surprise. She hasn’t let it slow her down, and this month is proof of that. First, a new TV series she created, a family drama calledQueen Sugar, debuts September 6 on OWN, Oprah Winfrey’s network. Weeks later, when the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture opens its doors in Washington, D.C., visitors will be welcomed with a short film by DuVernay.
Then, at month’s end, her new documentary, The 13th, which chronicles the history of racial inequality in the United States, will open the New York Film Festival. (The rest of us can watch it on Netflix in October.) All that while she’s prepping a $100 million-plus adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic novel A Wrinkle in Time for Disney. We talked with DuVernay, an L.A. native, about these projects as well as her efforts to help women and nonwhite filmmakers find an audience. It is the job of the privileged to lift others up, she says. She does that every day.
You made The 13th—whose title refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution—in secret, going public only after it was completed. Why?
I didn’t want there to be any industry pressure or expectation. I wanted it to be what it was going to be, and I didn’t know what that was. I just knew that I had a lot of questions. After the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, the press tour for Selmahappened in the midst of all these slogans—“Black Lives Matter,” “I Can’t Breathe,” “Don’t Shoot”— becoming calls to action. At the time a lot of journalists were trying to link Selma with what was going on. When I finished with the whole circus of awards press, I wanted the chance to think of this current state of police aggression from a historical context, so I started studying. I read Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy, and Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, and then looked at a lot of documentaries. There’s something really disturbing that happens when you take all of this information and put it together. You see the through-line, the thread, the inevitability of so much of where we all are— black, white, brown, and otherwise— and how it’s been blossoming, you know, from the seed that we’ve been watering.
The film focuses on the high incarceration rate in the United States and, in particular, the incarceration of black men.
Yeah, there is a lot of unpacking of our thoughts as a society about criminalization: who we regard as criminals, how we think of white-collar crimes as opposed to street crimes, what we think of people who used powder cocaine as opposed to crack cocaine, as seen in the very laws that would prosecute people more for the rock than for the powder, when it was the same drug. In the film we look at mandatory minimums, “Three Strikes You’re Out”—all of these things that have increased the prison boom.
It’s the first documentary that’s ever opened the New York Film Festival.
Someone told me it was the first time an American woman has opened the festival, and the first black person, male or female.
When you’ve been asked about #OscarsSoWhite, I’ve heard you say that at this point, instead of taking part in diversity committees, you prefer to “just do the work.” Meaning, your creative work.
Bueno pero qué tal que Tsurugigozen haya estado enamorado de Cosmea, y por eso es que intervino cuando vio la relación que tenía ella con Daimonji? Claramente las cosas no salieron bien luego de eso y probablemente el fue quien la mató.
@shipsonthetable - they are being pulled because the driver couldn’t see where they were going with the vehicles carrying cameras near them. Renee Felice Smith put up this photo late last night:
I don’t drive but I don’t think anyone would be good driving with that in front of them. Add in that the vehicle has to remain a certain distance from the camera to make sure everyone is in the shot and in focus.