The Atlanta Film Festival literally, in my opinion, saved the best film for last. Directed by Justin Simien, Dear White People takes a comedic approach to serious issues regarding racial identity, sexual preference and relationships.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I decided to see six short films directed by women but I was nonetheless excited to support them. As I read the description for each short, I was delighted that the leads were all young girls. Directed by women, starring women. What else did I need to know? And sure enough, I was not disappointed. I was actually pleased beyond what I could expect.
There were two in particular that all I could do to keep myself from giving them a standing O was clapping wildly. The first was ‘Painted Lady’ by Brittany Shyne. It is about a 9-year-old girl getting her first period. First of all, this film could have been shot without any words and any woman would have been mentally transported back to her own experience. A raw and emotional story about development and womanhood through the eyes of a child.
I have the opportunity to attend the Atlanta Film Festival this year (March 28 – April 6) and I’m so excited about all of the magnificent productions and talented filmmakers! I perused all of the trailers to scope out which films I would see. From the moment I saw the trailer for Beside Still Waters, I knew it would be a hit. Sometimes you just know, you know?
Revolving around themes of nostalgia, youth and friendship, Beside Still Waters tells the tale a young man whose parents die in a car accident. He desperately seeks out his closest friends to help him cope.
A friend suggested I watch this documentary and I’m glad he did. Side note: if you come across a doc you’d think I’d love to watch, shoot me an email! Anyway, although I was hoping it would be longer and a bit more in-depth, I really enjoyed it. Using psychologic research and real life interviews from people across the world, ‘Happy‘ examines the importance of happiness.
“The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” – Benjamin Franklin
A friend of mine posted an intriguing photo about a new documentary. She said it was a love story so of course I looked it up. After seeing a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I knew it would be a must-see. Cutie and the Boxer chronicles the difficulties in life and love of two creative individuals. Married to each other and to their crafts, boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and artist Noriko Shinohara sacrifice everything for their art.
There’s no better way to spend this holiday than by vegging out and watching a few good flicks.
In honor of hard-working individuals everywhere, here are five must-see movies.
The Butler – If you overlook how creepy Forest Whitaker looks, it really is a superb film. And Oprah did an AWESOME job.
Recently, I met up and had dinner with a friend. We caught up on each other’s lives, and eventually we got on the topic of why things never worked out between us. I kept it real with him and said it was because he never pursued me. He’d often check on me but never made any plans. To me, a pursuit involves more persistence than that. I’m sure he knew this. And living in Atlanta where there’s a million women to one man, it’s so easy to bounce from one babe to the next without much effort.
Last night I watched the classic, The Breakfast Club. I’m a little embarrassed to say that I hadn’t seen it before then. And maybe because I was barely paying attention but for the first half of the movie, I really questioned why it was even made. The plot seemed uninteresting and slow. But as I continued to watch the characters develop, I quickly retracted my statements.
My first experience with a Technicolor film was the Wizard of Oz. I remember watching the movie in amazement, wondering what kind of funky business was happening on my television screen. My eyes were having a color party. It wasn’t like the films that we see today. The Wizard of Oz was one part sepia-toned black and white and another part color. But…a weird color. Vibrant but also subdued hues. It was dreamy and almost aggressively saturated.
Recently, I decided to look up some popular films using this medium from that time. First, here’s the skinny on Technicolor:
I think about love everyday. Not just being in love but the expression of love. I like to watch people in love. I like to observe how a couple interacts with one another. How their eyes twinkle when their partner says something cute. Or how they roll their eyes when their partner says something corny. One of the greatest expressions of love (to me) is in the movie Love Jones.
Poet and writer, Darius Lovehall (Lorenz Tate), meets and falls for Nina Moseley (Nia Long), a photographer. From the very beginning, their union was filled with passion. They attended poetry sessions and talked about love and sex. It seemed perfect but of course there were loose ends. Eventually, they reached a point in their relationship where they needed to define what they were and what they were doing.
“I mean, we’re just friends, right? We’re just kicking it, right?”
Of course there was mistrust and games and all the other things that no one aspires to have in a relationship. I wouldn’t recommend seeing this film in hopes of receiving a complicated love like it. But the emotions were undeniable. That’s what I remember. Something I could feel.
I don’t want to spoil the movie for you (stop watching the video below at minute 8:00 if you don’t want to know how it ends) but pay attention to the expressions. I see admiration, urgency, desire, care and love. I mean, even if it was just acting, that was some damn good acting.
I AM REMEMBERING LOVE
the shape of sound high in the evergreens
it lies suspended in hills
a blue line in a red sky
I am looking at sound
I’m hearing the brightness of high bluffs and almond trees
I am tasting the wilderness of lakes, rivers, and streams
caught in an angle of song
I am remembering water that glows in the dawn
the motion tumbled in earth
life hidden in mounds
I am dancing a bright beam of life
I am, remembering love.
- Sonja Sanchez