Knives Out ~ The Review

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Knives Out

starring Don Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, LaKeith Stanfield, and Daniel Craig

written and directed by Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi). 

(spoiler alert)

Knives Out is a cautionary tale for two groups of people: first,  multimillionaires who, on a whim, play a cat and mouse game I will call “Disinheritance”; and, second, the offspring of multimillionaires who stand to inherit the fortune of their multimillionaire relative.  Crime novelist and collector of automata (or moving dolls), Harlan Thrombey, multimillionaire played by Christopher Plummer, has been “murdered”.  Detective Benoit Blanc (played by Daniel Craig who tries his best to out southern a southern drawl) appears on the scene with his team, Lieutenant Elliott (LaKeith Stanfield) and Trooper Wagner (Noah Segan) to investigate matters.

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Harlan Thrombey, Patriarch

Knives Out is a captivating whodunnit filled with the usual twists and turns, and hidden secrets lurking about the nooks and crannies of the isolated Thrombey mansion (filmed at the Ames Mansion, a 20-room historic site located at Massachusetts’ Borderland State Park). If you are a fan of Agatha Christie, then Knives Out is your movie.

As with most dead who have taken care of their business here on earth, from the grave, Thrombey wields that four-corner document to upend the economic status of his relatives. At the reading of the Will by the family’s attorney Alan Stevens (Frank Oz), the inheritance of each relative is cut to pieces and thrown to Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), the young, unsuspecting Latinx home care nurse to patriarch Thrombey. Yes, the entire fortune: money, mansion, and publishing business.

Even though they have been subsisting on the kindness of Patriarch Thrombey while he was alive, the characters are worth caring about. Each actor interprets the patriarch’s betrayal with seething disbelief. All eyes turn to Marta, and you might feel a bit of a nick and cut from the “knife” of Thrombey’s Last Will and Testament but coupled with anger as the family, desperate to reclaim(?) the estate, threaten Marta with the deportation of her mother, who is in the United States illegally.

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On one hand, I refuse to praise Thrombey’s change of heart. Thrombey allowed his relatives and their offspring to live with him and nourish family ties on average of fifty years. Along the way, he provided them a lavish lifestyle of privilege and pleasure on average for fifty years, and on a whim he imagines them jumping to it and earning a living? Confess to indiscretions? Please! Yes, they are dysfunctional but he shares the greater responsibility of every dysfunctional dynamic formed within the confines of that mansion. As the powerful patriarch, he determined to play with people’s lives.

Even more egregious, his Last Will and Testament endangered the lives of Marta, her mother, and her sister. What he ultimately commits in front of Marta in his study causes her extreme trauma and that she question her nursing skills.

On the other hand, there seems to be an overarching aspect of the story. Perhaps when it all comes down to it, Johnson suggests it is the blood, sweat, and toil of the immigrant population that made possible for the Harlan Thrombeys of the world to garner the wealth and privilege they enjoy. Let that marinate.

 

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Linda Drysdale (Jamie Lee Curtis)

On another, I would surmise that Knives Out is a filmic lesson in expectations held by those who have trust funds pending or a rich relative who has been maintaining familial lifestyles with an allowance, or those who are in line to inherit anything. As I viewed Knives Out, the first stanza of Alice Walker’s poem “Expect Nothing” came to mind:

Expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.
become a stranger
To need of pity
Or, if compassion be freely
Given out
Take only enough
Stop short of urge to plead
Then purge away the need.

… because at any moment, your kinsman/woman could pull knives out and slash your every assumption, laughing all the way to the grave.℘

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Maleficent ~ The Skinny

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Meet Guest Reviewer Lena Sledge, filmmaker at Sonny Brook Productions. Read her skinny on Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

℘It’s a white savior film that relegates people of color to the margins and makes them supplementary to their white counterparts. Even in battle, the black warriors are not given the ability to soar with their white counterparts, additionally characterizing them as underlings in their own culture.

Connal (Chiwetal Ejiofor) — the supposed most powerful of the Dark Fey — has his eyes on what is happening to his people. His keen senses account for his forethought to rescue Maleficent from the deep. He is killed, however, while protecting her. That is a disappointment.

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Chiwetal Ejiofor as Connal, the Dark Fey

The aggressive white male, Borra (Ed Skrein), however, causes disruption and chaos; he calls for war. He even excels in battle. Borra’s character arc allows him to evolve, while Connal, the leader and wisest of their people, dies with no fan fair or transformation. The film, in addition, wrestles from the black female elders their powers no matter that they band together to save Connal.

In essence, Maleficent’s  narrative is subservient in its message: Black people, their sacrifices, contributions, and abilities, are a means to an end that serve to propel white voices and accomplishments to the center while marginalizing those who are making the greatest sacrifices.℘

Lena Sledge is the director of Sense of Self, her new film about finding inner happiness. For more information on Lena Sledge and her project, ‘Like’ Sonny Brook Productions on Facebook and SenseofSelfMovie on Instagram.

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Harriet ~ A Review

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John (Zackary Momoh) and Minty (Cynthia Erivo)

The jewel in Harriet is black love. The film opens with it. As I watched John and Minty/Harriet Tubman love up on each other in the establishing shot, I did not care what happened next. I just didn’t. They hugged–tightly. They kissed–passionately. They hugged again–tightly. He, a free man, married an enslaved woman. She, after taking her freedom, came back for him. Yes, he did what he did later but only on news of her “death”.  Then, to see her father — to see the love in his eyes for his girl and the trust he had in her decision to run — I thought of my own father.
Harriet Tubman was loved. She was respected. She was believed in and on. She was trusted. Her mother loved her and said it. Her father loved her and said it. All of her brothers and sisters loved her and said it. Her husband loved her; believed in her. He would have died for her, if she had let him. The pastor loved and believed in her. It is he who entrusts her with the routes and names of people who will facilitate her journey. Those enslaved believed in her. All hugged her neck on every visit. Be not mistaken: Harriet Tubman loved them back. Harriet is love.
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Minty/Harriet w/ her pastor Rev. Green (Vondie Curtis-Hall)

What struck me was how the men–black and white–protected her. Oh. How they protected her. A white farmer knows Harriet is hiding in the back of his wagon but, to paraphrase Zora Neale Hurston, he ‘takes her a piece of the way with him’ then moves aside for her to continue on her mission. After witnessing the beauty of Harriet’s crossing of the river, another young black man joins her venture. Later, he provides safe passage for her family. There’s more. White men in Philadelphia draw their rifles on her enslaver when he tries to kill her on the wharf.  In tandem, the young black men on the docks in that same city secure her safety. That’s love.
The director, Kasi Lemmons, has prepared for us a most refreshing dramatization of the community of enslaved people that thrived during a time when white plantation owners considered people of African descent nothing but property. She also takes us on the inside of the free black community in Philadelphia and portrays their support of the enslaved who dared to take their freedom. Marie Buchanan, a free-born black woman in Philadelphia, embraces Harriet in her home as she would a sister. In addition, Lemmons makes known the white Americans, across social class, who, in their own way, resisted the institution of slavery; that there were black men–young men–who, in this story, made possible Harriet’s successful enterprise.
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Marie (Janelle Monae) teaches Harriet

On the whole, Harriet tells us that when you are loved up on and validated in your own church, community, and family, you can cross the river to the other side and with others in tow. You can return again and again. You can live to tell it. That’s love.
Glory.
Let us pray.

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am @ The Ross

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It is obvious that Toni Morrison was the main arbiter of the documentary Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am. Directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, The Pieces I Am is more a review of the First Lady of Letters; more at a filmic admiration of her and less, much less, a discovery of anything new about this linguistic engineer of the English language.

I anticipated a documentary with an overview of her usual literary accomplishments, especially her novels, yes, of course, The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, and her Beloved, the latter for which she won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Oh, yes, much on Beloved, accompanied by a film clip from Jonathan Demme’s film of the same name and the story of Margaret Garner, on whom the main character Sethe, played by Oprah Winfrey is based.

I expected her to talk about the emotional swerve she experienced when learning about winning the Nobel Prize. She does. Her tenure as a copy editor and her fight for economic parity working as an African American woman in the white male dominated world of publishing. She does. How she raised her sons Slade and Ford as a divorcee—she does. And the power of language and writing—she does.

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As the film progressed, however, I began to realize that what Greenfield-Sanders presented onscreen was all I was going to get. Any discussion of her novels Tar Baby, Jazz, Paradise, A Mercy, Home, God Help the Child, Love, and most disappointing, some conversation on her children’s books on which she collaborated with her son, Slade and her volumes of essays on topics such as writing, morality and goodness, school integration, race and the imagination … did not make the cut.

The documentary felt muted. I left in a silent anger, a silent anger I am monitoring even as I am recording this review. The Pieces I Am is but a regurgitation, then a distillation of interviews and commentaries past. It has a very present firewall that kept at bay my longing to learn more about our beloved Toni Morrison. You see, I had studied Toni Morrison in college; she was the Major Author I chose for my doctoral comprehensive exam. Even before college, I studied every single note—every jot and tittle about my beloved Toni Morrison.

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All of this I write to make known this: The Pieces I Am is for you, the audience who has a modicum of information about Toni Morrison. It is for you, the audience who has no other knowledge of her other than that she won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993 and the swirl of controversy surrounding the Nobel from fellow writers.

It is for you, the audience, who curries an interest in literature, writers, black women writers, and Toni Morrison. It is for you and me, the teacher, who needs a teaching tool to situate any of her works for the students. No longer will you need to cherry pick interviews on youtube or print literature—they’re right there for you, for me, for us in Toni Morrison: The Pieces I am

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With these notes, I strongly encourage you to see Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am. It is an intellectual, fun overview of our First Lady of Letters. Her friends and colleagues defer reverence for all of her literary achievement and social currency. Friends and colleagues such as Angela Davis, Oprah Winfrey, Fran Lebowitz, poet Sonia Sanchez and Robert Gottlieb—the latter who was her colleague and editor. But the greatest gift in Toni Morrison: The Pieces I am is Toni Morrison … Her presence … She is there in all of her joy.

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Tireni Oyenusi ~ The Interview

Tireni_4W4A3821Tireni Oyenusi is a gifted actor who is laying the groundwork to live up to his name, and what a name. Tireni is short for Tirenioluwa, which means “he is yours, God”; his surname, Oyenusi means “the crown of full worth”. The origin of his name is Yoruba, an ethnic group from the country of Nigeria, Africa.  

His heartbreaking portrayal of Donte, a young male forced to confess to a crime he did not commit in the short film A True Crime (dir. Marques Green), Tireni proves his skill in moving into the heart or the “full worth” of a character. He is intuitive. He is smart. He is focused. Want to know more about Tireni Oyenusi? Read The Interview.

What prompted you to decide on acting as a profession?

I started acting because I love the feeling of taking the audience on an emotional roller coaster. I already enjoyed playing pretend at home like any kid does. So to do that as a profession, where people can enjoy and be inspired by my work, I couldn’t resist.

When did you start?

At 5 years old. I was cast in church plays. It was just honestly complete fun for me.

What do you like about the process of acting? 

I love how I can completely, like, put aside my persona and take on the identity of a totally different person in each character I play. There is something freeing about that. It can almost be therapeutic at times.

I want to entertain people, make them laugh, make them think, make them just become more sound minded people in general.

~ Tireni

It can get personal, close to you, yes?

Yes. I put a little bit of myself into each character, and, each time I prepare for a role, I discover more and more of myself. It is like a whole big serious game of make believe. I get to act out a person’s fears, ambitions, hopes, dreams, downfalls, and insecurities.

You’re in a business wherein every actor has to navigate rejection. What keeps you motivated when that happens?

I have experienced a lot of rejection. I’m not gonna lie. There are times I wonder if I should really be pursuing acting especially when I see many other kids being cast left and right. Then, I draw on a very personal reason why I decided to act in the first place. It wasn’t for jobs or fame. It was to glorify God, to have fun, and to put on a great show.

How do you approach an audition?

I think of auditions as mini shows I get to put on for like 2 or 3 people. If they’re the only 2 or 3 people who see my performance, well, I just pray and hope they got something good out of it.

In Tireni’s quest to tell stories through acting, I want him to be successful in keeping and growing in his faith. I encourage him to remain authentic and not compromise his beliefs as he works to make a positive impact through entertainment.

~ Adetola Oyenusi, mother

 

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as Donte in A True Crime

In what ways do you navigate working in a highly competitive business?

I just try to focus on myself and my craft. I constantly remind myself why I got into this business in the first place. Everybody is on a different path, and I think it is my job to do the best I can on mine. Of course, I always try to learn from my colleagues and teachers cuz they are crazy talented!

How do you self-care?

Hmmmm. Well … I definitely pray a lot. Prayer is essential, and honestly? It calms me down. I try to read at least a chapter of the Bible every day. I haven’t been faithful all the time so I definitely need to get better at it. I love a good movie, and watching one is always a nice break. I like to eat too.

What are your ultimate goals?

My ultimate goals are to book a lot more roles because acting is the way I have chosen to make a positive impact on the audience. I want to entertain people, make them laugh, make them think, make them just become more sound minded people in general. In all, though, I want to glorify God through the talent I have been given and allow his grace to move through me and inspire people.

Tirenioluwa Oyenusi

He Is yours, God

The Crown of Full Worth

Nigeria Yoruba …

Tireni

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Raise Hell: The Life and times of Molly Ivins @ The Ross

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I’m a Texan. I drive a pick-up truck. I drink beer. I hunt. I’m a liberal. So What?

Let’s have fun, do good, raise some hell! Dance with them what brung you! That’s what Molly Ivins demanded.

Directed by Janice Engle, Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, documents the life of the late outspoken journalist, activist, and columnist, and author of her New York Times best selling collection of essays Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?; and, Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush, Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush’s America; and, You Got to Dance with Them What Brung You, another collection of essays.

There is no narrator to guide our thoughts in Raise Hell. We feast on her interviews and speeches and the voices of her friends, family, and colleagues. She is a fellow southerner with a booming southern accent; a maverick and outsider as she describes herself. Engles makes known that this 6 foot Texan carried the heart and soul of journalism into political moments what with her witty and raucous insights, especially on the former President George W. Bush whom she affectionately named Shrub.

I accidentally became an authority on George W. Bush. Like the guy who climbed Everest, it was there.

Over the course of her career Molly Ivins, navigated the waters of journalism during the time when men dominated the papers. A fast paced documentary, Engles backs up and allows Ivins to delve onto the landscape of Texas Politics

Texas has always been the national laboratory for bad government.

and, later, into the terrain of national politics

We keep pretending that the political spectrum runs from right to left; it doesn’t. It runs from top to bottom. It’s not those people in Washington; It’s not those people in your state capital. This country is run by us.

Political digs and insults aside, Raise Hell showcases a woman—a privileged southern white woman–born into a staunch Republican family. Her political views tantalized her father, General Jim Ivins the authoritative gas and oil executive because, as one friend revealed, General Jim could control his family and those who worked for him but he could not control his liberal-minded daughter. To add such insult to his psyche, Molly dared to bring an African American man to the Ivins home and, get this, General Jim arrived to find him swimming in the pool! – this in the heat of America’s civil unrest. Oh yes she did, too. Even The New York Times could not control her.

They wanted Molly for the unique voice, for the iconoclast, but they wanted her to fit into the times, but as we say in Texas, that dog don’t bark.

~ Linda Jann Lewis, Oral Historian

Through an objective lens, Engles brings to us a journalist who found her calling, and as did the late Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison, Ivins realized words have power, and Ivins squeezed from them the juices of their influence.

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Her friends boasted that she could drink any man under the table; and drinking with the good ol’ boys gave her power and access into circles closed off to women. But that power and access had a price, and Ivins paid dearly for it with bouts of alcoholism. Later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. But she kept on living. She kept on talking until the last edition of her spark and wit. In 2007, Mary Tyler “Molly Ivins” passed away of breast cancer at the age of 62 in her beloved Austin, Texas.

 

 

The Last Black Man in San Francisco @ The Ross

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Jimmie Fails

Danny Glover’s narration sets the tone for The Last Black Man Standing. Directed by Joe Talbot, The Last Black Man Standing is a haunting story about holding on to the past and stories one has been told about the past to manage day-to-day living especially in the wake of loss. Jimmie Fails stars as himself, a young black man who has come of age in the city of San Francisco. His family has lost a magnificent Victorian home in the Fillmore district, and this loss, or shall I write, death, has affected Jimmie to such an extent that he returns from time-to-time to give it a facelift much to the consternation of its newest inhabitants. His only consolation is an anecdote handed down to him by his father, James Sr. Jimmie’s grandfather built the house with his bare hands in the 1940s, and it is this history that endears him to the house. When the new inhabitants vacate, Jimmie considers reclaiming the house.

Screen Shot 2019-07-28 at 1.53.53 AMBut his father, James Sr., lacerates his ideas with a disturbing reality check.  In spite of his father’s warning, Jimmie and his best friend, Montgomery, takeover the house. The interior is fabulous. Adam Newport-Berry, cinematographer, ensures a full sweep of its grandeur accentuated by high ceilings and wood floors, a sauna, staircase, and a hidden room. Once moved in, Jimmie and Montgomery just … Be …

On the whole, The Last Man in San Francisco is a heartwarming film about a Black man’s love for his city and how an iconic architectural structure shaped and molded him. Talbot deftly enfolds within the film issues of housing, gentrification, and displacement in San Francisco that challenge Jimmie’s every emotion. Questions of the African American energies that went into the building of the city, and it is the history of their blood, sweat, and toil that makes it difficult for Jimmie to wrestle his heart away from San Francisco.

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With every stage in life, we must move on or else remain stagnant as has Montgomery, who lives and takes care of his grandfather in a house overlooking a contaminated bay. Ironically, it is Montgomery who challenges his friend to explore the horizon waiting for him after he learns the truth about why Jimmie and his family lost their home.

What Montgomery does with the information sets Jimmie on an entirely different course.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco plays through August 8 at the Ross Media Arts Center in Lincoln.

Also playing through August 8 is Wild Rose, a film by Tom Harper about a rebellious country singer in Glasgow who dreams of stardom in Nashville, Tennessee.

Listen to the Review @29:01

http://netnebraska.org/interactive-multimedia/other/friday-live-bone-creek-chautauqua-norfolk-literature-festival-and-more

 

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AK-47 – A Comment

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Patrick Crusius

Patrick Crusius. You are only 20 years old, and you choose to come of age with an AK-47 in and death on your hands. Such is the noise of your racism, that even you can’t stand it, thus the earmuffs. Upon being caught, you were arrested, and arrested all too gingerly. Not one policeman drew his gun on you. Not a bullet nor chokehold you endured. You are alive. I hope you enjoy your Burger King Whopper.

A True Crime ~ A Review

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Filmmaker Marques Green has a watchful eye on the travails of young Black men in his newest short film A True Crime. Donte (Tireni Oyenusi) is a 14-year-old in search of his own current in the flow of his community. In his search, Donte becomes entangled in an all too familiar situation we are witnessing at present in our socio-political climate: he is coerced to confess to a crime he did not commit.

I wanted to show his [Donte’s] sense of betrayal by the cops he thought were his friends but now are full on enemies. All of this in the middle of the night, and he is all by himself.

~ Tireni Oyenusi

Green’s inspiration for A True Crime comes from an actual crime that happened to a developmentally challenged black teenager named Davontae Sanford in Detroit, Michigan. Sanford was tried as an adult and convicted of four murders in 2007. When professional hitman Vincent Smothers confessed to the murders, Sanford was exonerated of the crimes in 2016. “I thought it was an interesting and layered story all the way around,” says Green, “It sparked so many questions for me like why would he make up a story and admit to something he didn’t do? How could the police violate him so willingly? How could this happen? What can we learn from it and, ultimately, what will bring change?”

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Marques Green, Director

We first meet Donte walking alone idly on a sunny day among discarded items on the sidewalk. The ice cream truck arrives. Children gather around Phil (Christian Henley), a gang member, as he passes out money to them to buy ice cream. Phil’s generosity encourages Donte to ask for his share to purchase ice cream as well. Phil pushes him away. Clay (Freddie Gibbs), Phil’s partner, arrives in a shiny red car with his girlfriend (Veranique Basquez). As Clay enters the car, Donte asks to hang out with them. Phil replies, “Are you crazy? Yo’ slow ass ain’t fit to be part of this!” Later, when Donte awakens his mother to advise her that something has happened, she tells him “mind your business and take yo’ ass back to bed. Go!”

Donte, for certain, is in a precarious space: too old to belong with the kids and too young to cruise with the grown up Old G’s. In this vortex of confusion, Donte unwittingly begins his journey for inclusion. “He’s coming of age and navigating manhood,” explains Green, “and I wanted to know exactly how that happens for Donte in a community that has made him invisible. I wanted us to look at ourselves and these situations, to really see how the community has failed him, to show how alone he is.”

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Tireni Oyenusi as Donte

Oyenusi caught the character’s isolation within his community when he read the script. “The first thing that hit me was how much struggle he goes through. On top of having emotional and behavioral disabilities, he just wants to fit in. He wants so badly to be a part of the community. Nobody wants to hang around him. I saw all of that struggle.”

Donte indeed finds acceptance but it is in the back seat of a squad car with Detective Brown (Hector Bustamante) and Detective Myers (Michael Cognata), two “friendly” policemen who have been called to the murder scene of the four people in the neighborhood. Detective Myers “befriends” Donte but with an ulterior motive. Cognata analyzed the role to discover other dimensions to his character. He reveals, “Detective Myers is a part of an evil scheme but I wanted to make sure to bring some sympathy, some humanity to him. He’s under pressure to solve the crime. People don’t always intend to harm. Myers was in a position to help that kid but his choices in this situation were for his own protection. It was his inability to stand up when the moment was right.” Green agrees,

the dynamic between the cops – the pressure they feel in trying to solve this quadruple murder–works against Donte. Both interrogate him without his parent; he has no protection in that room. One cop knows what they are doing is wrong but works with his superior officer to create the downfall of Donte. To make matters worse, Donte doesn’t understand the weight or gravity of the situation he is in.

A True Crime, then, is a story of violation: a violation of rights, a violation of space, and a violation of trust. Derek Whitacre’s music score strikes the haunting realities Donte has to face in his desperation to fit in. Cinematographer Bruce Francis Cole deftly uses warm and cold hues of gold, blue, and white lighting to create the tone and ambiance of these public and private disruptions.

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Donte and Clay take a dream ride

The flashing lights from the police car violate not only public space of the neighborhood,  also, the violation occurs in the private space of the home. There is no rest. There is no privacy. Lights pierce through Donte’s bedroom awakening him from sleep; they sweep through the living room; and, beams of red pound against the outer walls of houses. When the white beam from the police’s light flashes on Donte in the yard, Donte reacts as if a sword has impaled his body. The only peace to be found is in Donte’s head as he imagines hanging out with Clay and Phil in that shiny red car. 

People don’t always intend to harm. Myers was in a position to help that kid but his choices in this situation were for his own protection.

~ Michael Cognata

There are several angles to the story, and Shayar Bhansali’s seamless editing makes fluid each narrative intersection. Cognata notes how pressure plays out in the film. He says, “everyone is under pressure to make a decision. Donte’s mother, for example, whom we briefly hear from, probably works a lot so she’s tired and has to sleep through the majority of time with her son, so there is a lack of leadership there.” Oyenusi marks out Donte’s distress throughout the story. The particular choice the actor makes in his final close-up signifies the character’s desperation. “At that point, I really tried to feel what Donte was feeling as he was among strangers,” Oyenusi says, “I wanted to show his sense of betrayal by the cops he thought were his friends but now are full on enemies. All of this in the middle of the night, and he is all by himself.”

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Donte and Detective Myers (Michael Cognata)

Green’s overarching angle in A True Crime is the exploration of the justice system, a system he believes, “needs a lot of work, and there are different ways those who work within that system try to get us caught up in it. That could have been me in the back of that squad car or my brother or any Black youth. I wanted to place the audience in Donte’s position to feel the pressure he was forced to deal with. The whole situation is a crime, really.”

In the final analysis, Green is motivated to tell not just stories, but stories that investigate the moeurs of every day life. “I have to create. Real stories inspire me, and  A True Crime embodies all of the elements I see Black men having to navigate on a daily basis.”

Diego Nájera and Katherine Fisher, producers; Sheri Bradford, Executive Producer; Valerie Castillo Martinez, Francisco Velasquez, and Angel Kristi Williams, Executive Producers-Film Independent; Roxy Hua, Production Design; Robyn Owen Silvestri, CSA, and Michael Sanford, Casting.  

A True Crime  premieres at Philadelphia’s BlackStar Film Festival in August 2019.

For more information on Marques Green, visit http://www.quefilms.com

A True Crime is a project of Film Independent Future Filmmakers’ Project Involve. For more information, visit https://www.filmindependent.org/programs/project-involve.

 

In the Comfort of Joy ~ A Commentary

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Got Me back January 17, 2019 when my knee injury happened on the opening night of the show I directed, Who Will Sing for Lena. It was one of the coldest days of the year in Lincoln, Nebraska. For about three years, I had received the call to stop. To just stop. teaching Zumba x3 wk practicing choreo staff meetings teaching lit/film classes x2 wk semesters and summers writing editing performing travel and more travel meetings upon meetings grading papers office hours vocal coaching practice guest singing Stop! Please Stop! All of this, that, and the other–what my father would call ‘rippin’ & runnin’–took me out. I was devastated over the possibility that I may no longer be able to teach my beloved Zumba–this I learned in the emergency room after the outstanding performance at the Haymarket Theater. I wept well into the night. The Goddess, in all of her generosity, hastened Joy to me that next morning. In the comfort of Joy, I saw me. Right there. In that Holy silence.

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