Thursday, March 12, 2015

New and Noteworthy--Soldiering For Freedom: Recruiting, Training, and Using in Combat African Americans

Book Review From Michigan War Studies website:  Review by Donald R. Shaffer of Soldiering for Freedom: How the Union Army Recruited, Trained, and Deployed the U.S. Colored Troops,  Bob Luke and John David Smith
"In Soldiering for Freedom, a recent installment in its publisher's "How Things Worked" series, independent scholar Bob Luke and historian John D. Smith (Univ. of North Carolina–Charlotte) attempt not to break new ground, but to familiarize a wide readership with the findings of current scholarship on black soldiers in the Union Army. For the most part, their succinct book admirably achieves this aim."

"The prologue to the volume wisely begins with the assault of the all-black 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment on Fort Wagner, South Carolina, in July 1863. This action is well known to filmgoers from the acclaimed 1989 movie Glory.  The book's five chapters then branch out to provide a wider introduction to the service of blacks in the Civil War."

Full Text of this review is at Michigan War Studies

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Forthing Coming Film----The Free State of Jones, March 11, 2016

 First Look: Matthew McConaughey as Civil War Soldier in 'The Free State of Jones', Etan Vlessing, Hollywood Reporter, 03.09.15

The first photo of Matthew McConaughey portraying defiant farmer Newton Knight in writer-director Gary Ross' upcoming Civil War drama The Free State of Jones was released Monday.

The image captures Knight in battle; McConaughey plays a soldier for the Confederacy during the Civil War who becomes disillusioned with the South's cause, flees the battlefield and defiantly declares a safe haven in Jones County, Mississippi. Keri Russell, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mahershala Ali (House of Cards) also star in the film from Robert Simonds' STX Entertainmentthat has started principal photography in and around New Orleans. The Free State of Jones is produced by Scott Stuber, Jon Kilik (The Hunger Games) and Ross. STX, which co-financed with IM Global, will release the film in the U.S. market March 11, 2016. IM Global will release internationally, with Route One Entertainment and Union Investment Partners also on board as co-financiers.    Text Source: Hollywood Reporter


Keri Russell, Mahershala Ali Join Matthew McConaughey in Civil War Drama, Borys Kit, Hollywood Reporter, 02.15.15

Keri Russell and Mahershala Ali, who plays Remy Danton on Netflix’s House of Cards, have nabbed a key roles in The Free State of Jones, the Matthew McConaughey historical drama being directed by Gary Ross.  Robert Simonds’ newly launched film and television studio STX Entertainment is co-financing the project and will distribute. Route One/ Union Investment Partners and Vendian Entertainment are co-financing, with IM Global overseeing international distribution.

The film is currently in preproduction in Louisiana.  McConaughey is portraying Newton Knight, a soldier for the Confederacy during the Civil War who became disillusioned with the South's cause, fled the battlefield, rallied supporters and declared a safe haven in Jones County, an area of southeastern Mississippi in opposition to the Confederacy. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is already on board, set as a slave who became Knight’s common-law wife. Russell will play will Knight’s first wife, who leaves him. When she sees him next, he is married to a slave. Ali will play a runaway slave whom Knight treats as an equal and who tries to rally black people to register to vote. Ali, repped by WME, is also inhabiting the character of Boggs in both parts of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.  Russell is generating praise for her TV work on The Americans and last appeared on the big screen with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. She is also repped by WME.  Text Source: Hollywood Reporter


Storyline from Movie Insider
A defiant Southern farmer, Newt Knight, and his extraordinary armed rebellion go against the Confederacy during the Civil War. Set during the Civil War, Newton Knight defects from the Confederate Army, bands together with a group of like-minded soldiers, and set out to form their own State known as the Free State Of Jones.


Check for updates at Movie Insider  and for updates at Internet Movie Database.