The times are changing but in some cases not fast enough. With the 90th annual Academy Awards behind us it is clear that despite the Best Original Screenplay and numerous category nominations that went to Jordan Peele’s satirical horror film ‘Get Out’, Hollywood has a long way to go to appropriately reflect the ethnic (and gender) diversity of the US and global audiences.
‘Get Out’ has received numerous accolades and it was selected by the National Board of Review, the American Film Institute, and Time magazine as one of the top 10 films of 2017. It grossed an impressive $255m from box-office takings worldwide and that on a tiny budget of just over $4m. This figure might not be as impressive as the industry-shifting ‘Black Panther’, which has so far grossed over half-a-billion US dollars worldwide, but no less supports the findings of UCLA’s annual 'Hollywood Diversity Report' titled ‘Five years of progress and missed opportunities’. Box office figures and this report, spearheaded and co-authored by Darnell Hunt, dean of the Division of Social Sciences reveal the obvious appetites of audiences around the globe for more gender and ethnic diversity.
Marvel Studios ‘Black Panther’ didn’t make it into the 2017 round of voting but when its time comes next year the film is guaranteed to at the very least take home the awards for Costume Design – although my verdict is still out on some aspects – and Original Score by Ludwig Göransson, with his effective use of percussion instruments, which perfectly complement that super hot Kendrick Lamar-curated soundtrack album.
Except for a rather poor performance by Englishman Andy Serkis in his attempt at ‘South African’ villain Klaw (a Nazi in the original comic) and the charming Martin Freeman, the cast and crew are all hugely talented Africans and African-Americans from writers Joe Robert Cole and Ryan Coogler (also the director) to the gender-balanced, star-studded line-up of actors, including Kenyan Lupita Nyong’o, our very own John Kani, Michael B Jordan, Zimbabwean-American Danai Gurira and Chadwick Boseman as the handsome T'Challa, King of Wakanda aka Black Panther.
There is a list of potential timepieces appropriate for our royal super hero but he didn’t come across as being the kind of kat who’d be watching the time. However, among the coolest of the merchandise accompanying the film’s release is a limited edition Marvel x Nixon ‘The Black Panther 51-30’ watch made exclusively in collaboration with streetwear and sneaker retailer Bait. This is a sizable diver watch with a 51mm armor-like matt black case, featuring highly polished steel claw indices and the classic Marvel Black Panther icon at 12 o’clock.
Although it is listed at a reasonable $500, there are only 100 individually numbered pieces so you best sink your claws in quickly. Each watch is accompanied by a reprint of the first Black Panther comic book from 1977, written and drawn by the legendary Jack ‘The King’ Kirby.
According to Nixon, the company make quality watches with both mechanical and quartz movements that are “fueled by adventures far and wide and often sometimes by those that happen just down the street.” The surf-inspired 51-30 collection – 30 standing for water resistance to 30 bar or 300m – are ‘destro’ watches, featuring a crown on the left to prevent ‘wrist bite’. At the price, they are powered by very reliable Miyota Japanese quartz movements, no doubt super-charged in this case by vibranium. nixon.com; baitme.com