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Black film series at the Capitol and other local movie news

Bill DeYoung



Laurence Fishburne and Keke Palmer in "Akeelah and the Bee." Photo: Lionsgate

The 2002 drama Drumline began the Black History Month Film Series Friday, at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater. Each weekend in February, the suitably spaced and distanced venue is screening a film – or films – dedicated to, inspired by or celebrating in some way the African-American experience.

Here’s what’s still to come:

Feb. 13: Beauty Shop and Good Hair (a double feature). In the former (screening at 7 p.m.), a comedy, Queen Latifa plays an Atlanta hairdresser who leaves her nasty boss’ salon and strikes out on her own. Chris Rock produced, narrates and stars in the latter movie (screening at 9 p.m.), a documentary about how African-American women have perceived their hair and historically styled it.

Feb. 14: What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the family than Akeelah and the Bee, the acclaimed, feel-good 2006 drama about a young girl’s circuitous journey to the Scripps National Spelling Bee? Laurence Fishburne co-stars with Keke Palmer and St. Petersburg native Angela Bassett. Young Ms. Palmer received an NAACP Image Award, as did writer/director Doug Atchinson.

Feb. 20: Screening at 7 p.m., Sorry To Bother You is writer/director Boots Riley’s dark comedy about a young Black telemarketer, Cash Green, who adopts a white accent to succeed at his job. Swept into a corporate conspiracy, he must choose between profit and joining his activist friends to organize labor.

Feb. 21: For Colored Girls is a cinematic adaptation of the 1976 Broadway production For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf. The 2010 movie, screening at 3 p.m., has an impressive cast performing Ntozake Shange’s “choreopoem” monologues, including Janet Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, Phylicia Rashad, Kerry Washington and Macy Gray.

Feb. 28: Ray, starring Jamie Foxx, screens at 3 p.m. There’s not much left to say about this musical biography of the great (Florida-raised) Ray Charles, so we’ll just remind you of this: Foxx won the Academy Award for Best Actor, as well as the Golden Globe Award, BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild and Critic’s Choice acting prizes.

Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students (with valid ID), and premium loge boxes are available. Details are here.

More news

# Lionsgate’s psychological thriller Fear of Rain, filmed in St. Petersburg and Tampa in 2019, debuts Feb. 12 on Amazon Prime and other streaming services. Starring Madison Iseman, Harry Connick Jr., Katherine Heigl and our own Eugenie Bondurant, the movie will also be on big screens across the country, including the arthouse Greenlight Cinema in St. Pete, and the Studio Movie Grill locations in Seminole and Tampa. More about this – much more, in fact – Monday in the Catalyst.

# The dates for the 2021 Sunscreen Film Festival – live and in-person, with theaters allowing 50 percent capacity – have been announced. The 16th annual event will take place April 29-May 2. Details are here.


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