"Can a white director make a great black movie?" It's the kind of question that bothers me -- you can extend it to asking whether a male director can make a great film about women, or whether a straight director can make a great film about homosexuality. (This year, Abdellatif Kechiche answered both those questions in the affirmative.) Great storytelling requires more empathy than first-hand experience. Still, John Singleton (the first black filmmaker ever nominated for a Best Director Oscar) looks at such recent films as "Fruitvale Station," "The Butler" and "12 Years a Slave" -- all by black directors, though not all by African-Americans -- argues that  "there is a noticeable difference between pictures that have significant contributions from African-Americans behind the scenes and those that don't." He adds "what Hollywood execs need to realize is that black-themed stories appeal to the mainstream because they are uniquely American" -- which, well, let's just say I can't see everyone agreeing on that point. [Hollywood Reporter]    

The International Cinematographers' Guild announced four special award winners, and one of them is... hey, Kris Tapley and In Contention. Well, thank you very much. [Variety]

Jeff Bridges admits he was "a little underwhelmed" by "R.I.P.D." Well, it takes a Dude to admit it. [GQ]

Should we be asking more questions about the 3D-and-IMAX makeover being given to "The Wizard of Oz" than we currently are? [Slant]

"Fast & Furious 6" and Emma Watson were the biggest social-media champions of the summer movie season. [LA Times]

Matt Bomer is set to play Montgomery Clift in a biopic of the troubled, Oscar-nominated actor. [The Guardian]

Joseph Gordon-Levitt talks about going behind the camera for the first time in "Don Jon." [New York Times]

J.J. Abrams says he wants his upcoming "Star Wars" film to "feel real." Well, relatively real. [EW]

Joe Eszterhas will be the headline speaker at this year's London Screenwriters' Festival, where guests also include Jim Sheridan and David Hare. [London Screenwriters' Festival]