Mother of George @ The Ross

Adenike (Danai Gurira), Mother of George

Adenike (Danai Gurira), Mother of George

Sometimes it is not good to listen to your mother-in-law, especially when you, as a couple, have made peace with those things that are not working in your relationship. In the film Mother of George, directed by Nigerian filmmaker Andrew Dosunmu, Adenike and Ayodele are proud newlyweds who are satisfied with their marriage even though they have not been able to bear children. It has been 18 months. All is well. Adenike takes a homemade lunch to Ayodele at his job; he appreciates it. They enjoy each other’s company at the dinner table and during intimate moments. Mother-in-law Ma Ayo Balogun (played by Bukky Ajayi) dangles in front of the couple the old world tradition of “keeping the blood in the family” since her daughter-in-law has not borne her son, who shall be named George. Her interference runs counter to Adenike’s and Ayodele’s marital comfort, and Adenike is coerced to make a decision that will either destroy or strengthen her family.

Adenike's Wedding

Adenike’s Wedding

Set in Brooklyn, New York, ‘Mother of George’ is a richly textured film—to call it beautiful cannot begin to describe its wonder. From its opening sequence to the very end, Dosunmu splashes the screen with broad strokes of brilliant colors and splendiforous fabric that stir the senses. Bradford Young, who treats audiences with his brilliant cinematography in Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, again weaves his magic as he enfolds each character in layers of brown, blues, golds, lime greens, and white. These are necessary since at times Mother of George is overwhelmed by brooding and silence. Danai Gurira and Isaach de Bankole are to be commended for their portrayals of Adenike and Ayodele respectively, bringing to their characters an innocence that has been compromised by tradition.

The Ross logo

Mother of George plays through December 19 at The Ross.

Listen to the Review on Friday Live! @ 34:20

http://netnebraska.org/interactive-multimedia/none/friday-live-abendmusik-first-plymouth

Watch for in-depth Film • Television • & More reviews & commentary.
In the meantime, Catch a film … Share the Popcorn … Feed Your Soul!

Advertisements

The Armstrong Lie @ The Ross

Capture

Lance Armstrong. That unstoppable bicyclist who excited his fans in seven Tour de France competitions. Lance Armstrong. That talented athlete who made us believe in the strength of the body and its ability to take us to the finish line if we practice and focus on our goals. The story of Lance Armstrong is one about triumph. It is about reaching for the American Dream and catching it. That is until your story turns rotten, and you have to bow your head to return the proverbial laurel wreath and, while you‘re at it, the keys to the city. Oh, and don’t forget those seven Tour de France titles you apparently ’earned’ bicycling around the bend, up the hill, and down the slope. Enter documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney who takes us into the world of the Tour de France and the darling of the sport Lance Armstrong in his documentary The Armstrong Lie. We know the story: Armstrong, vehemently denied taking performance enhancing drugs, then finally confessed to Oprah Winfrey in January of this year that he had lied about it. We invested in his truth … we could not help it … well, the man was diagnosed with testicular cancer and beat it! Yes!

Lance Armstrong confesses to Oprah Winfrey

Lance Armstrong confesses to Oprah Winfrey

Gibney documents well each and every event, taking care to give the audience only a glimpse into Armstrong’s life growing up. The panoramic views of the European countryside are spectacular, but border on distraction from the story. Of particular interest are the parts of the Tour de France, the grueling tour created in 1903 and organized by Henri Desgrange. The routes, the stages, team assembly, riders, and of course the rabid fans along each trail all converge to bring to relief the Armstrong lie and the sheer confidence he projects when denying each and every accusation; yet, the Lance Armstrong who emerges after-confession is vexing. He is too poised; too confident–almost proud. When all is revealed, you cannot help but believe–really believe–that he lied and got away with everything by telling the truth … eventually.

The Ross logo

The Armstrong Lie plays through December 19 at the Ross in Lincoln.

Listen to the Review on Friday Live! @ 31:26

http://netnebraska.org/interactive-multimedia/none/friday-live-abendmusik-first-plymouth

Watch for in-depth Film • Television • & More reviews & commentary.
In the meantime, Catch a film … Share the Popcorn … Feed Your Soul!

Kill Your Darlings @ The Ross

Allan Ginsburg (Daniel Radcliffe)

Allan Ginsburg (Daniel Radcliffe)

I am not going to talk about how an ivy league education is wasted on a bunch of privileged boys who are so bored out of their minds that their only recourse is tearing up a library of classics. Nor am I going to salivate over this group who is considered to have ushered in a most celebrated time in literary history: The Beat Poets. In John Krokidas’s film Kill Your Darlings, they are not literary rebels; rather, they are reckless, if not, wayward hollow wannabees who are angst ridden over their sexuality, momma and poppa, and their wealth. They’re just … there.

I will ask a question, however: Just where is the beat in Kill Your Darlings?

Set in 1944 and moving between Paterson, New Jersey, Harlem, and Manhattan, Krokidas closes in on the early life of men who defined the Beat generation: Lucien Carr (played by Dane DeHaan), Allan Ginsberg (played by Daniel Radcliffe), William Burroughs (Ben Foster), and Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston). They are not very interesting young men, and you wonder how they could carry on a conversation; rather, Krokidas dramatizes them as students in search of some kind of purpose while others are fighting for equality in America and are across the pond fighting for democracy.

Ginsberg and Kerouac (Jack Huston) in New York

Ginsberg and Kerouac (Jack Huston) in New York

Ginsberg lives in Paterson, New Jersey with his mentally unstable mother and his father Louis Ginsberg, a published poet. He leaves for Columbia University, and there, he meets Carr, Burroughs, Kerouac, and more exposure to anti-semitism. Radcliffe carries well the existential load in this movie, and his Ginsberg is bookish and awkward but a young man who burrows his way through this bohemian world filled with drugs, sex, liquor, and, of course, school suspensions.

Let me answer my own question, Where’s the Beat? The Beat is in the murder of David Kammerer, Lucien Carr’s longtime lover. Michael C. Hall—you remember him from HBO’s Six Feet Under)– wonderfully fleshes out Kammerer, the jilted lover whose desperation for the young Carr leads to a fatal struggle between the two. The Kammerer-Carr affair, murder, and trial are the pulses of film and complement its title: Kammerer indeed is the darling that is killed.

Oh, by the way, Kill the Darlings, a command for writers to do away with ‘extraneous ornament’, is largely attributed to the novelist William Faulkner; but research reveals the command belongs to British Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch, who, in his 1914 Cambridge lecture “On Style,” said, ‘Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it—whole-heartedly—and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings!’

The Ross logo

Listen to the review @ 11:39
http://netnebraska.org/interactive-multimedia/culture/friday-live-lincoln-midwest-ballet-company

Watch for in-depth Film • Television • & More reviews & commentary.

In the meantime
Catch a film …
Share the Popcorn …
Feed Your Soul!

%d bloggers like this: