|WHEN THEY SEE USINTERROGATIONWHEN THEY SEEAVA DUVERNAYTHEY SEE USNETFLIX|
Less than a week after Netflix and Ava DuVernay were sued by an ex-prosecutor depicted in When They See Us, the undoubtedly happy duo today saw a federal judge dismiss a previous lawsuit over the Emmy winning miniseries.
“Because the First Amendment protects non-factual assertions and because neither defendants Ava DuVernay nor Array Alliance Inc. has sufficient minimum contacts with the State of Illinois to justify haling them into court here, Reid’s complaint is dismissed,” wrote U.S. District Court Judge Manish Shah on Monday read the order here. This ends an action started back in October last year by John E. Reid & Associates over their trademark controversial interrogation technique.
Not that Judge Shah let it end there.
“If the technique is as widely used as Reid says it is, the effect of the criticism has been felt well beyond Illinois’s borders,” the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division official noted. “To find that DuVernay should be haled into court here because she criticized a process sold by a company that happens to be located in Illinois would be to offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.”
To further that point, in a corresponding document, the court declared that the judgement in the midwest-based civil case is “in favor of defendants Netflix, Inc., Ava DuVernay, and Array Alliance, Inc., and against plaintiff John E. Reid and Associates, Inc.”
All of which means, this legal grilling of the streamer and the creative force behind the four-parter about the five young men falsely accused of brutally raping and beating a Central Park female jogger in 1989 is DOA as of today.
In the weeks after WTSU's Jharrel Jerome picked up his Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, the Illinois set-John E. Reid & Associates took DuVernay, her ARRAY shingle and Netflix to court over a line in the series calling the company's once widely used technique as “universally rejected.” The plaintiffs wanted unspecified widespread damages and profits and they also sought to have the June 12, 2019 launching and critically acclaimed miniseries taken off the streamer globally until the offending line in the fourth episode was omitted or changed.
Rejecting that premise and desire, the streamer and the director said in paperwork of their own last November that the matter should be terminated – and now it is.
Still, one down and one to go as Netflix and DuVernay were sued on March 18 by former Manhattan Assistant D.A. Linda Fairstein for defamation. “Linda Fairstein's frivolous lawsuit is without merit,” a spokesperson for the streamer said last week.
In the case of the now over Reid & Associates case,...
As a way to keep audiences enlightened and entertained during social distancing and quarantine, Ava DuVernay’s Array will launch #ArrayMatinee on April 1. The new weekly digital film series will include independent films from Array Releasing’s roster of global features.
Every subsequent Wednesday after April 1, Array will showcase five films from their slate. Viewers and cinephiles will be able to “watch and tweet” to engage and connect with each other — while using the #ArrayMatinee hashtag of course.
Below you can read more about the films that will be featured in the #ArrayMatinee film series.
AYANDA South Africa – April 1, 1PM PST Vimeo
After tragedy strikes, a young woman begins a journey of self-discovery as she struggles to save her father's car repair shop along with her memory of him. Ayanda is a coming-of-age story from writer/director Sara Blecher that takes us into a vibrant Johannesburg community alive with love and humor, risk and reward, tragedy and triumph. This film held its world premiere screening at the 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival winning the Special Jury Prize in the World Fiction Competition.
OUT OF MY HAND Liberia — April 15, 1PM PST Vimeo
Directed by Takeshi Fukunaga, Out of My Hand takes viewers inside the humble life of Liberian rubber plantation worker Cisco. Severe working conditions, failed unionization and corporate corruption ultimately drive him away from his family and his country to the foreign streets of New York City where his past forces him to confront his sense of isolation and belonging. This film debuted in the Panorama Section of the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival.
THE HOUSE ON COCO ROAD Grenada — April 22, 1PM PST Netflix
The House on Coco Road is an intimate documentary exploration of heritage and history against the backdrop of a brewing Afro-centric revolution as the U.S. government prepares to invade the island nation of Grenada. First-hand accounts from activists Angela Davis, Fania Davis and Fannie Haughton weave together director Damani Baker's family portrait of utopian dreams, resistance and civil unrest with a film score composed by music luminary Meshell Ndegeocello. The film held its world premiere at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival.
VAYA South Africa — May 6, 1PM PST Netflix
In filmmaker Akin Omotoso’s Vaya, the title is a phrase spoken in South African townships meaning “to go.” Vaya takes viewers along on a journey of three young South Africans who travel away from their rural homes on a train bound for Johannesburg. Stirring and suspenseful, the intertwining stories of these naive strangers as they struggle to survive culminates in an explosive moment not soon forgotten. Based on real accounts, Vaya...
SPOILER ALERT: If you are among the few who haven’t actually watched Netflix’s Tiger King docuseries, this review contains a lot of details about what goes down in the sad big cat saga.
With Netflix poised in the coming days to cash in and crank the base up a notch with more Tiger King, it's time to come out and say it: I hate the Red State porn that is the crash and burn of Joe Exotic
The initial seven episodes of this septic and shallow patchwork of trademark infringement, sex, guns, labor exploitation, song, drugs, mullets, betrayal, animal activism, revenge, and a lot of big cats may be much binged over these weeks of coronavirus lockdown, but that doesn't mean it's actually worth watching.
Now, I get it, I sound like I'm just a dour critic who hates anything that isn't prestige premium cable or aspirational. C'mon man, you want to say, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is just so unbelievable, I can't look away.
I respectfully disagree, and in fact, propose Tiger King isn't just bad, but dangerous in a divided America persistently looking to reduce the other side to caricature.
In a presently ailing nation where TV is more voluminous and vital than ever, the truth is the March 20 launched Tiger King is a clawed white trash misery index. Gawking at some clearly fragile and damaged people like would-be reality TV star Exotic and their below the Mason-Dixon line antics, the series subsequently provides a cultural circus for those smug bicoastals under stay at home orders and screaming to rise up in moral superiority.
Essentially, the tale of big cat collector, self-styled Oklahoma zoo proprietor and 2016 Presidential candidate Exotic AKA Joseph Maldonado-Passage and his ultimately unsuccessful attempt to have rival Carole Baskin knocked off by a hitman hired for $3,000, Tiger King is in that context more a zero-sum game, literally and figuratively, than hitting the zeitgeist.
Obviously, Netflix are pretty damn good at gauging and dragging the public mood over the years, as the likes of the then phenomenon of 2015's Making A Murderer or 2018’s Wild Wild Country prove. Yet, for all the attention it has drawn, this unfocused murder for hire exploration of sorts emerges as a bastard child of Cops, a million Dateline segments from the 1990s and Fox’s short-lived Murder in Small Town X reality show from 2001.
Not exactly the prestige product that the home of Roma, The Irishman and American Factory likes to brag about at award shows. Then again, with the knowledge that the Romans sold out the Colosseum every night feeding Christians to the lions, the bottom line based House of Hastings surely loves the subscription sign up that the currently incarcerated Maldonado-Passage and the accompanying motley gaggle of...