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Z FOR ZACHARIAH DARES TO NOT PLAY BY THE BOOK

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There’s a strain of science fiction writing that evokes a chilly kind of coziness, usually by introducing us to individuals or small groups of people who have found their way to the country in the hope of escaping encroaching doom. John Wyndham’s bleak, beautiful 1951 novel The Day of the Triffids is one example; Robert C. O’Brien’s tense, thoughtful 1974 young-adult thriller Z for Zachariah is another. In both books, the countryside offers a safe cocoon far from the menace of the city. The wolf — or the nuclear radiation, or the menacing ambulatory plant form — may be at the door, but inside, survivors get to experience the D.I.Y. joys of getting rusty old generators up and running, or hustling up surprisingly satisfying meals out of canned goods scrounged from the cupboards of abandoned dwellings. These stories offer a fantasy of turning back the clock and returning to a simpler way of living, simply because there’s no other choice. They’re like dark cottages with a beckoning light shining inside.
Craig Zobel’s adaptation of Z for Zachariah veers so drastically from the source material that people who love the book may feel betrayed. In the novel, Ann, a 15-year-old farm girl whose valley has been miraculously spared from a devastating nuclear war, learns that she isn’t, as she had sometimes thought, the last living person on the planet: A stranger trundles into her deserted world, and if he initially offers the comforts of human companionship, he also brings greed and selfishness into Ann’s little Eden.

If you think of Z for Zachariah as an inversion of the Adam and Eve story — this time, it’s not a woman who causes the downfall — then the changes that Zobel and screenwriter Nissar Modi have made don’t seem so drastic thematically, even though they depart radically in terms of plot. For one thing, they invent a new character, which changes the dynamic profoundly. Yet the film works on its own terms, capturing, at least, the mournful vibe of O’Brien’s book. HustleTV

What’s more, Zobel’s revision opens up plenty of space for the three actors who inhabit this circumscribed little world, all of whom are terrific. Ann (Margot Robbie, looking believably farm-fresh and nothing at all like the scene-stealing vixen she played in The Wolf of Wall Street) lives alone on her family’s farm, a speckled dog named Faro her only companion. She wraps herself in protective gear and makes occasional trips into an abandoned village, chiefly to pick up books from the ghost-town library; there’s also a general store nearby, which she regularly raids for supplies.

One day she and Faro spot a cart by the side of the road. It belongs to Loomis (the always extraordinary Chiwetel Ejiofor), a scientist who has left the bunker that saved his life — he’s able to explore the world with the help of a one-of-a-kind radiation-proof suit, and his search for a sustainable pocket of civilization has led him right into Ann’s world.

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Ann is at first wary of Loomis, but later becomes curious about him in all ways, including sexually. Loomis is thinking along the same lines, but he’s more a man of science than religion, and Ann’s unwavering faith makes him nervous. In a small but pivotal scene, he scans the titles on the household bookshelf: There are works by Billy Graham and a manual called Family-Friendly Farming, as well as a religious book for children, A Is for Adam. If Adam was the first man, Zachariah, trailing at the end of the alphabet, must surely be the last. Is Loomis the last man? As it turns out, no: A dirty, exhausted figure soon emerges from the ravaged landscape. Caleb (Chris Pine, stalwart and sensitive) has eyes that are even bluer than Ann’s, and he’s had the same rural, religious upbringing. He’s a better match for Ann, and Loomis knows it. (Zobel employs a quick, sly joke to also address the fact that Caleb, unlike Loomis, is white.)

From here, the story might have evolved into a ho-hum exploration of romantic and sexual jealousy, but Zobel and his trio of performers dig into something murkier and more primal. This is Zobel’s fourth fiction feature, and although he earned a great deal of acclaim for his 2012 Compliance — about a fast-food restaurant manager who follows company protocol too closely, with disastrous consequences — Z for Zachariah is a much more accomplished and nuanced picture.

Zobel and cinematographer Tim Orr show us both the seductive comforts and the menace of this strange new world: A scene in which Ann and Loomis share a special homemade dinner, complete with purloined wine from the abandoned store, is lit with a romantic, reassuring glow. Later scenes, in which Caleb and Loomis eye each other like jealous animals, suggest that the tendency toward male aggression can never be fully tamed, even when it comes down to the last two men on Earth. Still, both Loomis and Caleb are more complex than you’d think — there’s tenderness beneath Loomis’ posturing, especially. And Zobel fearlessly goes for a genuinely melancholy ending. Forget the apocalypse; person-to-person human relations will always be the thing that hangs us up.

But Z for Zachariah may be most interesting for its refusal to scoff at spiritual faith. Loomis may glance dubiously at those book titles, but Ann, her forthright, gentle manner balanced by an almost feral determination to survive, is the heart of the movie. Whether or not we share her specific belief in an all-knowing, benevolent God is beside the point: Somehow, she’s still here on the planet, and something, even if it’s just a force deep within herself, has kept her there.
Right-wing fundamentalist religious nuts have, understandably, made many of us wary of any common notion of “faith.” In contemporary culture, to admit that you believe in God, or a God, is to risk being branded a hillbilly, an enemy of free thought. It’s much cooler to call yourself an atheist, as a way of advertising yourself as a person who can’t be hoodwinked. But Z for Zachariah — without being militantly pro-religion in any sense — leaves the door open to the idea of faith as a means of sustenance. In that sense, it’s a daring picture. At the very least, it suggests you’re really sunk if you consider yourself superior to wonder.

Z FOR ZACHARIAH | Directed by Craig Zobel | Written by Nissar Modi, based on the novel by Robert C. O’Brien | Roadside Attractions/Lions Gate DJ Hustle

 

DJ Hustle will be blasting out Summer mixes for you called The Jump Off Mixes.

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It’s officially Summertime and AllHipHop.com and DJ Hustle will be blasting out Summer mixes for you called The Jump Off Mixes. Listen to DJ Hustle’s jump off mix. More mixes will come out so be on the look out and for more hot music to get your days an night jumping with today’s hottest Hip-Hop! Let DJ Hustle know what you want to hear in the mix @AllHipHopcom or @DJHustle.

Our first mix features songs from Juicy J, Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, Kanye West, Roscoe Dash, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Schoolboy Q, B.o.B , T.I. and more. Vibe out to our first mix and let’s get Summer started right!

 

 

DJ Hustle met up with DJ Clue in a Los Angeles studio during Grammy Weekend

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DJ Hustle met up with DJ Clue in a Los Angeles studio during Grammy Weekend. DJ Clue is working on new music with French Montana, Problem, to name a few. fabolous music is out now iTunes , DJ Clue is part of the Power 105.1fm family in New York his holding down the nights from 6-10pm, DJ Clue is a Mixtape DJ known for his involvement in the Mixtape circuit and for being one of the first DJ’s to not mix songs in his mixtapes. Clue is also known for dubbing both the song information and his name over each track on his mixtapes, usually in a distinctively echoed voice.

He also has his own record label Desert Storm Records. Rappers Fabolous, Ransom and Paul Cain are among the artists with Desert Storm Records.

Eric Bellinger has a great catalog of music check it out.

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Our own DJ Hustle is on the turntables giving you Eric Bellinger Music Mix. DJ Hustle is blending and mixing the hottest new music in hip hop on AllHipHop.com. Listen to DJ Hustle as he is slapping the hits from the streets. Weekly mixes will be posted for your weekly enjoyment. Let DJ Hustle know what you want the hear on Twitter @DJHustle or Instagram DJHustle2407 We take music to the next level.

 

1) Eric Bellinger ft Problem – Say no
2) Eric Bellinger ft Chris Brown – Do it
3) Eric Bellinger ft Problem – I don’t want her
4) Eric Bellinger ft 2 Chainz – Focused on you
5) DJ Mustard ft Fabolous and Eric Bellinger- 4 Digits
6) Abrina ft Eric Bellinger- Actin UP
7) Jinsu ft Eric Bellinger – Out with the old
8) Mase ft Eric Bellinger – Nothing
9) Game ft Problem, Too Short, AV & Eric Bellinger – Or Nah
10) Emcee N.I.C.E ft DBI – My Cali Lean

Release of the feature film Annie this Friday December 19th.

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A Broadway classic that has delighted audiences for generations comes to the big screen with a new, contemporary vision in Columbia Pictures’ comedy Annie. Director / Producer / Screenwriter Will Gluck teams with producers James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith & Will Smith, Caleeb Pinkett, and Shawn “JAY Z” Carter, Laurence “Jay” Brown, and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith with a modern telling that captures the magic of the classic characters and original show that won seven Tony Awards. Celia Costas and Alicia Emmrich serve as Executive Producers. The screenplay is by Will Gluck and Aline Brosh McKenna, based on the musical stage play “Annie,” book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and on “Little Orphan Annie,” © and ® Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Academy Award® nominee Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) stars as Annie, a young, happy foster kid who’s also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they’d be back for her someday, it’s been a hard knock life ever since with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz). But everything’s about to change when the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) – advised by his brilliant VP, Grace (Rose Byrne) and his shrewd and scheming campaign advisor, Guy (Bobby Cannavale) – makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in. Stacks believes he’s her guardian angel, but Annie’s self-assured nature and bright, sun-will-come-out-tomorrow outlook on life just might mean it’s the other way around.