John Ridley

John Ridley

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Picture - John Ridley - 'American Crime'... Los Angeles California United States, Friday 8th May 2015

John Ridley - 'American Crime' ATAS special screening held at Walt Disney Studio - Arrivals at Disney - Los Angeles, California, United States - Friday 8th May 2015

Benito Martinez, Richard Cabral, Penelope Ann Miller, John Ridley, Caitlin Gerard, Elvis Nolasco, Timothy Hutton and Felicity Huffman
Benito Martinez, Richard Cabral, Penelope Ann Miller, John Ridley, Caitlin Gerard, Elvis Nolasco, Timothy Hutton, Felicity Huffman and Michael MacDonald
John Ridley
John Ridley

Is John Ridley's 'American Crime' The Best New Drama on TV?


Felicity Huffman John Ridley

John Ridley's new drama American Crime premieres on Thursday (March 5) on the back of a wave of fanfare. The series follows the aftermath of a murder in California when war veteran Matt Skokie is killed during a home invasion. It uses the legal system to explore complex issues, of race, class and gender politics though the lenses of the victims and suspect's families.

Felcity Huffman American CrimeFelicity Huffman [L] and Timothy Hutton [R] at the American Crime premiere

The show stars Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton and W. Earl Brown and has received critical acclaim ahead of its premiere. 

Continue reading: Is John Ridley's 'American Crime' The Best New Drama on TV?

Picture - Gayle Ridley and John Ridley... Los Angeles California United States, Sunday 1st March 2015

Gayle Ridley and John Ridley - "American Crime" Premiere Screening, an ABC-TV series beginning to air in the United States in March 2015 at The Theater at Ace Hotel - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 1st March 2015

John Ridley and Michael MacDonald
John Ridley

Picture - John Ridley - Premiere of... Los Angeles California United States, Saturday 28th February 2015

John Ridley - Premiere of ABC's 'American Crime' at Ace Hotel - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 28th February 2015

John Ridley

Picture - John Ridley - A host... Beverly Hills California United States, Thursday 19th February 2015

John Ridley - A host of stars were snapped as they attended the ICON MANN Power Dinner Party which was held at Mr. C Beverly Hills in California, United States - Thursday 19th February 2015

John Ridley
John Ridley

Jimi: All Is By My Side Review


Grim

Exploring a year in the life of Jimi Hendrix just before he hit the public consciousness is a fascinating idea, but this biopic misses every opportunity to say something interesting. The filmmakers certainly invest this movie with plenty of stylish period detail trying to make up for the fact that they didn't secure the rights to use Hendrix's music. With a better sense of character or story, they might have got away with it. But this movie feels all wrong.

It opens in 1966, when Jimi (Andre Benjamin) is quietly working in a New York bar as a member of Curtis Knight and the Squires. One evening, he's spotted by Linda (Imogen Poots), Keith Richards' girlfriend, who thinks he should be a star. Linking him with manager Chas (Andrew Buckley), a former member of the Animals, Linda takes Jimi to London to record an album and build his reputation. Over the next year, Jimi hones his sound, puts together his band The Jimi Hendrix Experience and hooks up with local girl Kathy (Hayley Atwell). And it starts to work: the band breaks into the UK pop charts with a series of hit singles. On the other hand, across the Atlantic the Americans seem to be rather apathetic. And the organisers of the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival hesitate before inviting him to perform.

The rest is history. And it's not in this film. But then the story here centres on Hendrix's pre-fame year, which allows writer-turned-director John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) to dig further into the artist's motivations than most biopics do. Hendrix's stroke of genius was to fuse rock instruments with the blues, creating all new sounds with his guitar. But then these aren't in the film either. Instead there are just sound-alike tunes, plus one audacious performance on a London stage: singing Sgt Pepper just after it was released, with the Beatles in the audience. Whether it actually happened like this is anyone's guess; like much of the film, this scene feels mythical.

Continue reading: Jimi: All Is By My Side Review

Jimi: All Is By My Side Trailer


Jimi Hendrix started earning money from his musical career as a simple backing guitarist at the Cheetah Club in New York City. Soon enough though, he was brought to England by former Animals member Chas Chandler where within a year he blew up into the legend that everyone sees today; the man who spectacularly set his guitar alight on stage at the Monterey Pop Festival. Within that year he began dating Kathy Etchingham, who stuck by him throughout his rise to fame despite the immense pressure it put on their relationship as he struggled to make it as the world's greatest guitarist. His journey was tough for everyone around him, but unbeknownst to him, it was only going to get tougher as he decided to break America too.

Continue: Jimi: All Is By My Side Trailer

First Jimi Hendrix Biopic Clip Released, See Andre 3000 In His New Role [Video]


Andre 3000 Imogen Poots John Ridley Hayley Atwell

The first clip has been released from the upcoming Jimi Hendrix biopic, All Is By My Side, in which Outkast's Andre 3000 plays the legendary guitarist. Having premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year and now gearing up to screen at the nearing South By Southwest, the film is making fans wait until August for a general release.

Andre 3000 Hayley Atwell
Andre 3000 & Hayley Atwell As Hendrix & Kathy Etchingham.

Andre 3000, AKA Andre Benjamin, will play the guitarist before he became super famous in the year leading up to his landmark performance at the Monterey Pop Festival. The film follows Hendrix on his journey from working as a backing musician in New York City to relocating to London. Whilst there he meets model/muse Linda Keith (played by Imogen Poots) who fiercely encourages him to start playing original material.

Continue reading: First Jimi Hendrix Biopic Clip Released, See Andre 3000 In His New Role [Video]

So Here's Why '12 Years a Slave' Writer Snubbed Steve McQueen at the Oscars [Video]


Steve McQueen John Ridley

Did it not cross your mind that, when John Ridley won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay on Sunday (March 2, 2014), he was sat nowhere near the rest of the '12 Years a Slave' team and bypassed director Steve McQueen to hug American Hustle filmmaker David O' Russell?

12 Years a SlaveBenedict Cumberbatch [L] and Chiwetel Ejiofor [R] in '12 Years a Slave'

Ridley did not mention McQueen in his acceptance speech and the director hardly rose to his feet when the screenwriter took the award. Later in the evening, when 12 Years won Best Picture, McQueen failed to mention the man that wrote the movie deemed the best of the year. 

Continue reading: So Here's Why '12 Years a Slave' Writer Snubbed Steve McQueen at the Oscars [Video]

12 Years a Slave Review


Extraordinary

Much more than a film about 19th century slavery in America, this sharply well-told true story has a lot to say about the world we live in today. And as he did in Hunger and Shame, filmmaker Steve McQueen puts us right into the middle of the story so we live it ourselves. Watching this film is a riveting, unnerving and ultimately moving experience.

It's based on a firsthand account by Solomon Northrup (Ejiofor), a musician who is living with his family in 1841 Saratoga, New York, when two friendly men offer him a great gig. But they drug him and sell him to slave traders, who send him to New Orleans and strip him of his identity. He spends the next 12 years working for two masters. Ford (Cumberbatch) is a fair man who puts him under the watchful eye of the cruel Tibeats (Dano). Then he is sold to Epps (Fassbender), a harsh boss who sends him into cotton fields and angrily suspects that Solomon is more educated than he admits.

Made with an earthy, realistic style, there's a clear sense that McQueen and screenwriter Ridley stuck closely to the details of Northrup's memoir, which was published shortly after his release and became a bestseller at the time. By never indulging in Hollywood-style exaggeration, the events remain grounded in the characters, drawing on the spiky interaction between them. At the centre, Ejiofor is utterly magnetic, delivering a transparent performance that takes our breath away. In his terrified eyes, we experience this horror ourselves.

Continue reading: 12 Years a Slave Review