“The Day They Came” is a Genesis Williams‘ directed short film starring Tony Doe and from the new Nigerian production company, Ficson. It seems like this going to be a web series, so I am interested to see more, particularly because of the special effects, which I read was done on a very small budget.
Category Archives: Film
Here is the first episode, “Spiderling,” of the Issa Rae-produced Anansi series, starring Andrew Allan James, who played the role of “A” in the The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. I am not so sure how I feel about it yet, but I am intrigued by this kind of were-spider concept where he changes at night and has little memory of what he has done the next day. I want to see how it fleshes out. Also, it is nice to see James play a completely different character than the dorky one he does on Awkward Black Girl.
Happy Friday the 13th!
While browsing the internet for Caribbean speculative film, I found Bajan (Barbadian) filmmaker channel and his apocalyptic film Into the Darkness. The film follows a young boy who is trying to survive amidst the threat of revenants — visible ghosts or animated corpses that were believed to return from the grave to terrorize the living.
…and getting the respect!”
Author, music historian and filmmaker, Nelson George, said at a rough cut screening of his latest film, Finding the Funk, that funk music was a music for outsiders. Reaching its peak in the 70s and early 80s, the short time between the eras of soul and post-bop/funky jazz and the rise of hip-hop, funk and its pioneers have left a prominent impression on current music, but do not receive as much historical analysis as other genres of popular music. While other genres, like blues, jazz, soul and even our most current hip-hop, have tons of books and documentaries about them, George himself said he could only find one definitive book about the history of funk, Rickey Vincent’s Funk: The Music, The People, and The Rhythm of The One. Basically in popular culture, funk almost still remains an enigma or a shadow of the future, despite having the likes of James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, Parliament Funkadelic, Zapp, Cameo, Slave, Mtume, Prince, LaBelle and plenty more in that legacy.
In comes, George, with his documentary to give a chance for audiences now to get to know better the history and faces of funk, if they have not already. Although this was a rough cut — the final version will premiere on VH1 in November with more performance footage and songs — George’s film had a lot of potential mainly because of the interviews with many of those involved in funk, most prominently George Clinton, Bootsy Collins and the elusive, and kind of spaced-out interview-wise, Sly Stone. Opening with a joke from one of funk’s founding father’s, James Brown, about a guy who doesn’t know the directions in Harlem, but yet knows he’s not lost, the film balances the heavy baselines of funk with lighthearted laughter in the interviews.
Here is Donovan Vim Crony’s sci-fi short Noise Gate! The film is about a “dimension-traveling scientist who is in search of the ultimate reality. His only passage into that realm is something called the NOISE GATE.” It reminds me a little bit of Afrikan Boy and DJ Shadow’s ending for the video for “I’m Excited.” I also thought it was interesting that there were Japanese subtitles in the film, in a sense reversing the foreign film concept. Take a look at the Behind the Scenes.
“The erotic is a resource within each of us that lies in a deeply female and spiritual plane, firmly rooted in the power of our unexpressed or unrecognized feeling.” – Audre Lorde
Quite a number of people within the past couple of weeks have basically told black women (and other women of color in general) that our voices, our bodies and any power we have –present, past or future — is not to be respected or honored. On several fronts we are attacked, from our erasure from mainstream feminism (#solidarityisforwhitewomen) to our erasure from racial discourse (#blackpowerisforblackmen). Even women who expect to be revered are treated trivially. Last week, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons released a Harriet Tubman “sex tape” that he thought was suppose to be funny. Afrofuturists know Tubman as an icon in our spaces, just look at Chronicles of Harriet, Sanford Biggers, Elizabeth Hamilton, and Cauleen Smith. Yes, he took the video down, after he was quickly called out on it, and his apology was basically all bull, implying that we were too sensitive, and not the critique of the racially misogynist (or misogynoir) aspects of the video. For example, having Tubman seduce a white master matches the jezebel stereotype and reinforces notions of black women’s incapability of being raped. Additionally, it was the inaccuracy of the video to Tubman’s story and the reduction of a woman to degrading, pornographic sex. Now he wants to do a movie about Tubman. C’mon, please! Rather than waiting for that half-assed sorry that will be that film, below are some works that show greater respect for us. For the past few weeks, I have read and viewed works that spoke to me as a Black woman about us reclaiming our power in different situations.
The three works — two from Caribbean writers, Nalo Hopinkson’s Midnight Robber and Marie-Elena John’s Unburnable, and the other, a Cameroonian film, Jean-Pierre Bekolo’s Les Saignantes (The Bloodettes) — all explore stories of women who fight to overcome sexual oppression, sometimes even at the hands of other women, through a re-imagining of themselves and a reclaiming of feminine ancestral wisdom and bodies. One of the most striking parts that is similar in all three is the reliance of ancestral feminine wisdom and ritual, and ancestral women by the main characters, much like what we should do with Harriet Tubman. (*warning: spoilers coming*)
Sorry everyone that I have been gone so long. I kind of was distracted for a bit. But I am back! In light of some of the recent internet controversies that happened last week, including one involving Harriet Tubman (shame on you Russell!), here is a some uplifting videos: 1) Kina Sky from Jamaican filmmaker Corretta Singer (found her film on caribBEING) 2) and an oldie but goodie — Salt n Pepa’s “Ain’t Nothing But a She Thing.” Enjoy!
“Kina Sky is a short sci-fi digitally animated fantasy film… The lead character, who the movie is named after, is a cyborg who takes to flight and must overcome obstacles along the way.”
I saw these two beautiful videos today, the French short film, Baobab, and South African singer Simphiwe Dana’s “Mayine.” While the videos may appear disheartening at first (and I do have questions about the former’s reason for the cutting down the tree, the depiction of violence in general, and the film’s meaning within a larger cultural context), there is some hope at the end of them.
This morning I heard that communication companies are attempting to rid us of phone landlines and replace them with wireless service only, and it reminded me of the two films I saw last night, Leah Gilliam‘s movie Apeshit and Wesley E. Barry‘s The Creation of the Humanoids.
Gilliam spoke at the showings of the film about her use of “obsolete technology” in creating a film using 8mm reduction film print of Battle for the Planet of the Apes and the hosts of the event finding also spoke of finding the rare print of Barry’s film. But the old technology also correlated with the themes of obsolescence in both films.
As mentioned here, Gilliam’s use of old film formats and technologies, including silent film dialogue cards, created a conversation around political ideologies and rhetoric that are now out-of-date, such as the ideas of tolerance, inferiority of different beings and assimilation.
Barry’s film, instead of having the humans and the alienness of humanized apes, has it between humans and androids. After an atomic war kills of over 90% of the humans on the planet, the humans left begin creating robots to compensate. But there is an antagonism between the androids, who are disparagingly called “the clickers,” and some of the humans. But the twist at the end is that some of the humans who think they are humans, are actually androids. They found out that there has been a secret process to transfer the memories and experiences of the humans left into robotic bodies through a “thalamic transplant” to keep them living because human bodies are becoming “obsolete” after the atomic bomb.