Whitney: Can I Be Me (2017) - News Poster

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‘Marianne & Leonard’ Film Review: Leonard Cohen’s Muse Gets Her Due in Lovely Documentary

  • The Wrap
‘Marianne & Leonard’ Film Review: Leonard Cohen’s Muse Gets Her Due in Lovely Documentary
“Love is not a victory march,” Leonard Cohen sang in one of the many verses of his signature song “Hallelujah” — and Nick Broomfield’s haunting documentary “Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love,” which premiered on Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival, is a lovely illustration of the twists and turns of a complicated relationship that produced some of the gifted songwriter’s most indelible songs.

The Marianne of the title is Marianne Ihlen, a young Norwegian woman who Cohen met in the early ’60s on the Greek isle of Hydra, where artists of all stripes washed up to enjoy an idyllic life where, says one friend of Marianne’s, “there was so much freedom that people went too far with it.”

Leonard was a poet and novelist, Marianne a young mother with a rocky marriage. He thought she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen; she didn’t agree,
See full article at The Wrap »

Bobby Brown Files Lawsuit Against Showtime and BBC Over Whitney Houston Documentary

  • Variety
Bobby Brown Files Lawsuit Against Showtime and BBC Over Whitney Houston Documentary
Attorneys for Bobby Brown and the estate of Bobbi Kristina Brown have filed suit in a New York court over the documentary “Whitney: Can I Be Me,” alleging that Showtime, the BBC and several other defendants violated their rights by improperly using footage from the production of the 2005 reality series “Being Bobby Brown.”

Brown’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court’s New York southern district, asks for $2 million from defendants Passion Pictures, Tracey Baker-Simmons, Wanda Shelley, B2 Entertainment and Simmons Shelley Entertainment, as well as Showtime and the BBC.

The suit claims that Brown and his late daughter appear in the documentary for more than 30 minutes despite never having signed releases for the footage. Contracts or releases they did sign for the filming of the lone season of Bravo’s “Being Bobby Brown” in 2005 didn’t carry over for any other usage, the claim maintains.

“The footage was
See full article at Variety »

Bobby Brown Sues Showtime & BBC For Multiple Millions Over Whitney Houston Docu

  • Deadline
Bobby Brown Sues Showtime & BBC For Multiple Millions Over Whitney Houston Docu
Bobby Brown says a 2017 documentary about his late wife Whitney Houston used more than a half-hour’s worth of footage of him and his children without his consent — and that’s good enough for a lawsuit. The one-time New Edition and solo R&B hitmaker has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Showtime and the BBC over their film Whitney: Can I Be Me.

“The film contains footage that Brown and [his late daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown] has never consented to have released,” according the suit filed Tuesday in New York District Court (read it here). “Brown and [his late daughter] appear in the film for a substantial period of time, in excess of thirty (30) minutes. … Brown never signed or executed a release for the airing of the material that appears in the film.”

The filing also says: “The film contains images of [Brown’s] other children, Landon Brown, Robert ‘Bobby’ Brown Jr. and Laprincia Brown as minor children.
See full article at Deadline »

We Need to Stop Shaming Black Artists Like Drake for Being ‘Too White’ (Opinion)

  • Variety
We Need to Stop Shaming Black Artists Like Drake for Being ‘Too White’ (Opinion)
“Black-ish” with an upper-case B is an African-American sitcom loved by both black and white viewers. But “black-ish” with a lower-case b doesn’t always fly with African-Americans when it comes to their tunes.

In both forms, the word refers to a lack of black cred, whether it’s for talking too white, acting too white, or being too white, accusations Drake haters have hurled at the rapper since he hit the hip hop scene. Some in the African-American community criticize him for making music that’s as much pop as hip hop and promoting a soft image. In other words, he’s not “black” enough.

Still, Drake is arguably the most successful rap star of the past five years. On June 29, his fifth studio album “Scorpion” set a Spotify record for the highest number of global streams in a single day. Over the course of the sprawling 25-track double album,
See full article at Variety »

Whitney review: the talent and the tragedy

Kevin Macdonald’s probing documentary about Whitney Houston tries to unearth the factors behind the star’s dramatic decline

‘There’s several times the devil tried to get me; but he never gets me…” Since her death in a Beverly Hills bathtub in 2012, the singer Whitney Houston has been the subject of a slew of articles, books, TV shows and (more recently) films, poring over the details of her spectacular rise and fall. Last year, Nick Broomfield’s unauthorised yet surprisingly sympathetic film Whitney: Can I Be Me used revealing backstage footage from a 90s tour to paint a portrait of an exhausted performer torn between identities – sexual, racial and commercial.

Now, Kevin Macdonald, whose impressive directorial CV includes Touching the Void and Marley, enters the fray with an authorised documentary, produced with the assistance of the Houston family and estate, unlocking a wealth of interviews and archive material. Having
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

‘Whitney’ Film Review: Whitney Houston’s Rise and Fall Captured in Somber, Exhaustive Portrait

  • The Wrap
‘Whitney’ Film Review: Whitney Houston’s Rise and Fall Captured in Somber, Exhaustive Portrait
There was something uniquely American about Whitney Houston’s career. Through her non-threatening music and pristine persona, she occupied a place in the country’s consciousness few other black figures had reached before her.

The white mainstream was eager to embrace her, while African Americans concurrently doubted her understanding of their struggles. Yet she often acted as a bridge between the two, as was beautifully exemplified in her emblematic rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the 1991 Super Bowl.

Such is one of many conflicting notions that plagued her unparalleled rise to stardom, her troubled private life, and ultimately her untimely death on Feb. 11, 2012. Serving as both a tribute to her privileged voice — for which she’s been dubbed the “best American singer in the last 50 years” — and a thorough examination of the many intimate battles she fought as a result of overwhelming fame and substance abuse, Kevin Macdonald’s documentary
See full article at The Wrap »

UK box office preview: 'The First Purge' and 'Whitney' up against football fever

UK box office preview: 'The First Purge' and 'Whitney' up against football fever
Sunshine and the World Cup set to wreak havoc at UK cinemas… again.

Universal’s The First Purge, the fourth installement in Blumhouse’s Purge horror franchise, opened on Wednesday (July 4), at 486 sites in the UK.

The release was day-and-date with its Independence Day holiday opening in the Us where it garnered $9.3m in the first 24 hours.

Universal is hoping to snag the top two spots at the UK weekend box office with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom still going strong. But with warm weather forecast and the English football team kicking off in the World Cup on Saturday afternoon, cinema-going
See full article at ScreenDaily »

‘Whitney’: Kevin MacDonald Delivers A Moving Portrait Of A Tragic Icon [Cannes Review]

Our morbid fascination with rise and fall narratives is entrenched in the culture and all-too-common tragic stories about stardom and pop figures practically beg for cross-examined relitigation. The sad tale of pop R&B icon Whitney Houston is no different and the cultural mourning is still being processed through film and TV. Houston’s story has already yielded 2015’s TV movie “Whitney” and one documentary, “Whitney: Can I Be Me,” made all of just one year ago.
See full article at The Playlist »

Showtime’s 2018 Emmy Fyc mailer introduces voters to red-hot contenders ‘The Chi,’ ‘Smilf,’ ‘Twin Peaks’ and more

Showtime’s expansive 2018 Emmy Fyc mailer will soon be arriving on the doorsteps of the TV academy membership. While the premium network previously shipped three series-specific mailers back in April for drama series “The Chi,” comedy series “Smilf” and limited series “Twin Peaks,” they’ve now sent out a fourth mailer featuring all of their eligible Emmy submissions. See photos above and below.

See Emmys 2018 exclusive: Showtime categories for ‘Patrick Melrose,’ ‘Smilf,’ ‘Twin Peaks’ and more

Included is recent Emmy winner “Shameless,” two-time champ for Best Comedy Stunts and four-time nominee for William H. Macy as Best Comedy Actor. Former Best Drama Series winner “Homeland” (2012) is also back in action after concluding its seventh season last month. Look for Emmy favorite Claire Danes and repeat nominee Mandy Patinkin to be major players again in the acting categories, along with Lesli Linka Glatter for directing the drama series.

More shows to
See full article at Gold Derby »

Whitney review – a heartbreaking portrait of celebrity self-destruction

A breathtaking bombshell lies at the heart of Kevin Macdonald’s documentary, which is all the more poignant for its detachment

Oh Whitney, will we ever get over you? Film-makers aren’t yet close to doing so: newly premiered at Cannes, Kevin Macdonald’s polished and rather stoic documentary is the second in the space of a year to map the crushingly sad trajectory of Whitney Houston’s blazing star burnout, which, as we all glumly remember, ended in a Beverly Hills bathtub six years ago. The forcefully acted, Oscar-grabbing biopic can’t be far off.

As Macdonald’s film hits the long latter portion of its rise-and-fall narrative – raking over facts we already know, images of ruin we’ve already seen, and heading inexorably to an anatomy of her death that Nick Broomfield’s scrappier documentary Whitney: Can I Be Me took us through last year – I felt my
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Cannes Film Review: ‘Whitney’ Documentary

  • Variety
Cannes Film Review: ‘Whitney’ Documentary
“Whitney” is the second documentary about the life and death of Whitney Houston to come along in a year, and it’s also the second one that’s entrancingly well-done. Here’s the thing about Whitney Houston: She was so incandescent that if you sat through nine documentaries about her, you’d probably experience, each time, what I did during the early scenes of “Whitney” — the hope that somehow, this time, the beautiful enraptured young singer in front of you will find a way to defeat her demons, that they won’t drag her down, that the story will turn out different.

Because surely, it’s one of the most tragic — and, its way, inexplicable — downfalls in the history of American show business. Cocaine addiction, of course, is an insidious monster, but Houston, even after rehab, kept returning to it, as if she wanted to destroy herself. To see her life story is always,
See full article at Variety »

Trailer Watch: Cannes Film “Whitney” Presents Both Sides of an Incredible Talent

“Whitney”: Cannes

Whitney Houston’s family and friends describe her two sides in a new trailer for “Whitney.” The late singer was an iconic, amazingly gifted artist and performer, but she was also, as one of the doc’s interviewees puts it, “simple”: “She became Whitney Houston when it was time for her to get on stage,” she explains.

The divide between Houston the persona and Houston the person apparently weighed heavily on the six-time Grammy winner. “People think it’s so damn easy, and it’s not,” the “How Will I Know” songstress admits in archival footage.

Despite her personal turmoil, Houston’s beautiful voice and hard work cemented her a spot in music history. “You have three places to sing from: heart, mind, guts,” the singer’s mother, Cissy Houston, says in the trailer. “She learned them all.”

From Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald (“One Day in September
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Sexism and the music doc: 'Grace Jones has had her 15 minutes'

Why Bloodlight and Bami bucks the cliched trend that’s haunted films about Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse

Related: Grace Jones and giant confetti cannons: the 20 biggest festival moments of 2017

The tragic downfall of a celebrity ingenue: a trusted, market-friendly formula for the big screen, especially where female recording artists are concerned. Documentaries about female stars tend to tread a similar narrative, involving a reductive look at personal histories, where the film-maker is less interested in the idea of accomplished musicians than of girls who supposedly dreamed too big and self-destructed through addiction and failed relationships. With this mythologising, you might say that Amy Winehouse (Asif Kapadia’s Amy), Whitney Houston (Nick Broomfield’s Whitney: Can I Be Me), Nina Simone ( Liz Garbus and Hal Tulchin’s What Happened Miss Simone?) and Janis Joplin (Amy Berg’s Janis: Little Girl Blue) have been made more alike in death than in life.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

World Exclusive Clip From The ‘Whitney: Can I Be Me’ Home Release

The life of a musical legend is incisively and sensitively explored by renowned documentarian Nick Broomfield in the essential Whitney ‘Can I Be Me’ arriving on digital platforms and on Blu-ray and DVD from September 4th courtesy of Dogwoof. To celebrate this week’s release, we have an exclusive clip from the DVD extras showing director Nick Broomfield discussing the challenges of interviewing people about Whitney, and how her family and friends reacted to the film during his interview at the film’s Sheffield Doc Fest premiere.

An unparalleled icon, Whitney Houston was, for many, the original diva, her legendary voice providing a soundtrack to her myriad fans’ lives. But behind the music was a complex, isolated woman haunted by insecurities and demons. Whitney ‘Can I Be Me’examines Houston’s New Jersey gospel roots, her rise to global fame in the 1980s and the key relationships in her life,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

'Bobbi Kristina' Trailer Shows Whitney Houston's Daughter at Most Vulnerable

'Bobbi Kristina' Trailer Shows Whitney Houston's Daughter at Most Vulnerable
Bobbi Kristina Brown will get the biopic treatment this fall, a little over a year after Whitney Houston's only daughter died from a combination of drowning and drug intoxication at the age of 22.

The TV movie, simply titled Bobbi Kristina, will air on TV One in October, and will star Stuck in the Middle actress Joy Rovaris as Brown, Nadji Jeter as her boyfriend, Nick Gordon, and Vivica A. Fox as her aunt Pat Houston.

In a trailer that dropped Monday, Rovaris-as-Brown looks at times distraught as she cries on a bed,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

5 Surprising Revelations from the New Whitney Houston Documentary Can I Be Me

5 Surprising Revelations from the New Whitney Houston Documentary Can I Be Me
Since her tragic death on Feb. 11, 2012, two questions have persisted: Who was the real Whitney Houston? And who, if anyone, could have saved her? It’s these two queries that the controversial new documentary Whitney: Can I Be Me sets out to answer.

The film, by documentarians Nick Broomfield and Rudi Dolezal (the latter documented the superstar throughout her legendary career), premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday night.

Complete with never-before-seen backstage footage and revealing new interviews with family, friends and entourage-members, it portrays Houston to be as endlessly troubled as she was talented, asserting that her personal battles with image,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Soundtracking: "The Bodyguard"

Whitney: Can I Be Me debuts this Friday on Showtime. Chris Feil takes a look at the icon's biggest soundtrack...

The Bodyguard doesn’t deserve its iconic mega-selling soundtrack. Granted, most of us have never pretended that that the film was even a whiff as good as all that glorious vocal dexterity Whitney Houston lays into her six tracks. But rest assured: the movie itself is even worse than you remember.

Among its many sins, the most egregious is how it ignores its own musical assets. The Bodyguard exists in a world where you can enter someone’s home and just happen upon an extended dance sequence being shot for a music video - but it also presents a world where that isn’t anywhere near as fun as it sounds. It spends the first act under the illusion that we give a crap about five or six things more
See full article at FilmExperience »

Liz Garbus Directing Doc Series About New York Times in the Trump Era

Liz Garbus: The Hollywood Reporter/YouTube

Liz Garbus’ next project will give viewers an inside-look at The New York Times. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the “What Happened, Miss Simone?” director is helming a documentary series for Showtime that follows the newspaper and its coverage of the Trump administration — which is not exactly a fan of the free press, especially the NY Times. Garbus has been filming at the Times’ main office for over six months already.

The project, tentatively-titled “The Fourth Estate,” will serve as “both an inside look at how the paper is covering President Trump and the larger role of journalism today — as truths are challenged at every turn and the label of ‘fake news’ is used by the current administration as a response to negative coverage,” THR details.

As for the demagogue himself, Trump has called the publication “the failing New York Times” and “highly inaccurate,” which seems to have only strengthened the Times’ reputation. “In May, The New York Times Company reported rising digital subscriptions (308,000 added in the first quarter),” the source observes, “even as overall advertising revenue dropped seven percent.”

Garbus received Best Documentary Oscar nominations for “What Happened, Miss Simone?” and “The Farm: Angola, USA” in 2016 and 1999, respectively. Netflix doc “What Happened, Miss Simone?” took home the Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special in 2016. “Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper,” “Love, Marilyn,” and “Bobby Fischer Against the World” are among Garbus’ other doc directing credits.

Next, Garbus will direct the Sarah Paulson-starrer “Lost Girls.” The adaptation of Robert Kolker’s 2013 book “Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery” is about the so-called Craigslist Ripper.

Showtime has previously acquired the rights to documentaries like Laura Poitras’ “Risk,” Elyse Steinberg and Josh Kriegman’s “Weiner,” and the Whitney Houston-centric “Whitney: Can I Be Me.”

Liz Garbus Directing Doc Series About New York Times in the Trump Era was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

'Whitney: Can I Be Me' Director Speaks Out on Legendary Singer: 'She Was So Judged'

'Whitney: Can I Be Me' Director Speaks Out on Legendary Singer: 'She Was So Judged'
One year ago, veteran documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield realized that something was wrong. He was about three months into postproduction on Whitney: Can I Be Me, his new documentary on the life and death of Whitney Houston – and sitting in his editing room, he found himself "in complete despair." In its rough state, the movie was primarily a compendium of experts and talking heads opining about the singer's influence and legacy – a "journalistic report" as Broomfield calls it. But, he notes, "I wasn't feeling my heart moved by the story.
See full article at Rolling Stone »
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