ESPN Winding Down Latest Group Of 30 For 30 Films

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN is wrapping up its latest group of films in its 30 for 30 series.  The network will air the penultimate episode from this installment of the series tomorrow night, October 30thGhosts of Ole Miss will air tomorrow night at 8pm EST on ESPN/ESPN HD.  The film focuses on the racial tensions on the campus of Ole Miss as James Meredith was set to become the university’s first ever African American student in the fall of 1962.  The impact of Meredith’s acceptance into the university reverberated all the way to the nation’s capital and then president John F. Kennedy.

Along with becoming the university’s first African American student, Meredith also joined the university’s football team.  The team would go on to one of its best seasons in team history.  That success would play directly into the overall racial tensions at the university.  Meredith himself is interviewed for tomorrow night’s feature, along with a number of others.  The interviews culled for this feature put everything into perspective and lead Ghost of Ole Miss to really hit home. 

As with ESPN’s previous 30 for 30 features, this one will also be accompanied by a short in the 30 for 30 Shorts collection.  This time, the bonus short–presented by ESPN and grantland.com—focuses on author Alfred Slote’s book, JakeJake is a children’s book about a young African American boy with the dream of one day being a big league baseball star.  Slote himself is interviewed in the new 30 for 30 short.  A bonus article written by Bill Simmons joins the feature.  Simmons and friend Jonathan Hock worked together for the complete feature.  Audiences can check out that feature now online at http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8538119/jake

For all updates on ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, audiences can go online to espn.com/30for30, http://www.facebook.com/espn30for30, or http://twitter.com/30for30.  The final installment in this group of films in ESPN’s 30 for 30 series is titled, You Don’t Know Bo.  It will air on ESPN/ESPN HD on Saturday, December 8th at 9pm.

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Keoma Is A Must For Any Film Studies Student

Courtesy: Mill Creek Entertainment

Enzo G. Castellari’s 1976 spaghetti western, Keoma, is very much a niche film.  It is not a movie for everyone.  It is by no means the standard shoot-em-up bang bang western that most audiences might know from the likes of John Wayne and others.  This film is much deeper than that.  It deals largely in the view of subjugation of others.  There is the mistreatment of the people who had been ravaged by the plague.  And there is the racist view of Keoma’s half brothers towards him because he is half Native American.  And of course, his friend George, who is African American, suffers prejudicial views because of the times.

Seeing the way that Caldwell and his gang treat everybody as less than second class citizens (including a pregnant woman who doesn’t even have the plague), Keoma serves as society’s better half, trying to eliminate that prejudice, albeit through violent means.  Simply put, the movie is less Western and more social commentary.  On a more simplistic level, while it is a work of social commentary, it’s still a western.  And it’s one that even at nearly two hours long, is still able to keep the audience’s attention without being too preachy in its message.  That’s the most important factor in the grand scheme of things.

By and large, Keoma is not a movie for everyone.  It’s anything but a happy movie.  It’s violent and it’s very dark in its message.  Add on what can only be defined as a more than bittersweet ending, and audiences get a movie that will be difficult for many audiences to digest.  On the other end, though, this is one more must for any true student of filmmaking.  It offers so much that there is simply not enough time to get into it all.  It alone is worth its share of discussions in any college level or higher film studies class.  And that is enough to make it a movie not only to be watched, but to be remembered.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.