DEAR WHITE PEOPLE – REVIEW

DWP

Review

 

Starring: Tessa Thompson, Tyler James Williams, Dennis Haysbert, Brandon Bell, Teyonah Parris
Director: Justin Simien
Running time: 108mins
Cert: R

Dear White People has had an interesting journey  from across the pond after its debut at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, but, after a long battle between production bodies and the BFI, Dear White People has now been granted distribution in the UK and will be released in a number of cinemas across the country. I attended the UK premiere at the Prince Charles Cinema on Wednesday.

Dear White People  is a satirical comedy-drama that focuses on the intertwining lives of four African-American students at the prestigious and predominantly white, Winchester University.
Here, we meet the protagonist of the film, Sam White (Tessa Thompson); the socially and culturally conscious, rebellious and highly intelligent mixed-race girl who fights against the apparent racism at Winchester. She has a radio show entitled Dear White People where she attempts to highlight all the ways in which they don’t understand the culture of black people and the struggles they go through. She has self published a book entitled Ebony and Ivy which dictates certain levels of blackness, and all while having a secret affair with her white class tutor!

DWP is funny, thought provoking and eye opening to the various stereotypes that are not only given by other races but given to ourselves.

Within the movie we meet the Rebel (Thompson), who is afro-centric and pro black despite being “only half black” and seems to demonstrate the need to over compensate for this. There is the Poster Child (Bell), who’s father pressures him to overachieve so not to fit into stereotypes that whites may give him. The fact that a “black man trying to fit in the white mans world” IS in fact a stereotype, doesnt seem to bother the father. The Token black kid (Williams) who is just around to prove a social group have an ethnic presence and the Diva (Parris); the dark skin girl with the weave and blue contact lenses who only dates white guys to escape her less than respectable upbringing.

All of these characters can ring true in various social settings and i admittedly saw elements of myself in some of them. However, the film does highlight many other truths of black and white culture and what we deem acceptable behind closed doors. Do White people harbor the need to call us niggers at any given moment if they see a group of black people doing something “black”? I would like to think not, but DWP brings new light and humour (so not to be too controversial) to the idea white people inherently look down on black people but then want to relish in all things black, except to actually be it.

The climax of the film, in which a “black face” party begins on campus, though funny to an extent of how other cultures see us; its testament to that same fact. Black culture is ghetto culture and thats how they view us. The question stands however, that if these are the only things we portray or what is put out in the media, how do we expect other cultures to think/look differently at us?

Of course for any race to turn up to a black face party covered in shoe polish or nutella and calling themselves Shaniqua is a derogative in any sense but understand there is a line between disrespecting black culture and being Miley Cyrus. She did not come up with Twerking and shes not even doing it right!

Either way, this review has turned into more of a rant lol but it still stands that Dear White People is provocative and insightful in its title and content and its depiction of racism in America. Of all places in the world, it seems to be most rife in the states but do not attempt to be fooled that as Brits we are not fighting the same battles. Its just perhaps not showcased and exploited as violently and graphically as police brutality and blatant waving of Confederate flags.

Dear White People is out now!

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STARRED UP – REVIEW

Review

 

Starring: Jack O’Connell, Ben Mendelsohn, Rupert Friend
Director: David Mackenzie
Running Time: 106mins
Cert: 18

Speechless. Absolutely speechless…so ill type instead of talk about the amazing film that is David Mackenzie’s Starred Up!

There are a few posts on the blog that have built up the excitement for this film and i am so happy that it did not disappoint. Starred Up is a gripping and insightful film about the internal social structure of prison but more so about the relationship between a troubled father and son.

Eric Love is transferred from juvenile detention to adult prison prematurely and in doing so has to survive the internal struggles that he will undoubtedly face. While facing the shame, depression and violence that incarceration brings, Eric finds himself in the same institution as his father Neville. Its here that the real story unfolds as Eric as to come to terms with the type of man/prisoner he wants to be or ultimately the type his father could make him.

For those that haven’t seen the film yet, i don’t like to go into a synopsis of films but rather just point out the things that make a film good or bad. In this instance, the realism and grit of it make it absolutely fantastic. The authenticity of language and powerful performances by Jack O Connell and Ben Mendelsohn, make the characters relatable even to people who have never come into contact with prison, prisoners or their way of life. You find yourself becoming sympathetic to their individual situations and rooting for various inmates to survive the chaos of their confinement.

During the hour and forty minutes of this film that left me wanting more, you will laugh, cry, be shocked and appalled at the things that take place in prison. There is no question of its authenticity and you genuinely fear for Eric and those that grow close to him.

O Connell’s performance is riveting and engaging and sentimental in its deliverance making him a force to contend with in the coming years. The supporting cast consisting of David Ajala and Anthony Welsh are a welcome addition that provide comedy and ultimately a sense of family to an otherwise seemingly bleak situation.

Starred Up is simply a gem of British talent and film and could possibly be the best original film ill see this year.

WHAT TO WATCH!! – MOVIES

What To Watch

 

– Today is Friday so that means its movie release day! A few new films have popped up today so here is a quick list of them and what its about if you were unsure! – 

 

STARRED UP
Cast: Jack O’Connell, Rupert Friend, Ben Mendelsohn
Director: David Mackenzie
Cert: 18

Jack O’Connell is set to give a career shaping performance in this prison drama about violent teen Eric Love who finds himself in the difficult transition from a young offender’s institute to adult prison. Despite help from prison therapist (Rupert Friend), he also helped by an inmate who just happens to be his dad (Ben Mendelsohn).

ABOUT LAST NIGHT
Cast: Kevin Hart, Regina Hall, Michael Ealy, Joy Bryant
Director: Steve Pink
Cert: 15

The second of Kevin Hart’s films to hit UK screens this year and this time he is accompanied by his Think Like A Man co stars Regina Hall and Michael Ealy. A modern version of the classic romantic comedy starring Rob Lowe and Demi Moore in 1986, about two people getting into their first committed relationship. Paired up with the more comical relationship of Hart and Hall hopefully brings more laughs in then Ride Along.

A LONG WAY DOWN
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Rosamund Pike, Aaron Paul
Director: Pascal Chaumeil
Cert: 15

A once beloved TV personality who is now, shall we say a little bit passed it, is on top of a London skyscraper on New Year’s Ever and ready to jump. However, he’s soon joined by single mother Maureen (Collette), sassy teen Jess (Poots), and musician turned pizza-delivery boy JJ (Paul). They decide, instead of jumping tomake a pact and stay alive and stay together until Valentine’s Day at least…

LABOR DAY
Cast: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith
Dir. Jason Reitman, US, 2013, 111 mins
Certificate: 12A     Distributor: Paramount

Labor Day” centers on 13-year-old Henry Wheeler is 13 years old and struggling to be the man of the house while caring for his reclusive mother Adele and live a normal teenage life. While on a back-to-school shopping trip, Henry and his mother meet Frank Chambers, a man both intimidating and  in need of some help, who they agree to take home but later find out is an escaped convict resulting in the longest Labor Day weekend of their lives…

 

 

CHUCKY VENN’S THE METHOD OF LOVE SCREENING

So, on Friday night I attended the pilot screening of The Method of Love starring Chucky Venn aka Tremaine Gidigbi from Footballer’s Wives and Ray Dixon from Eastenders.

The twenty minute pilot episode was at first glance a fresh look at the trials we go through in the name of love with some excellent British talent in the line up. Left with a multitude of questions about how the characters were going to deal with their obviously trying situations, made anticipation for the following episodes very high.

The night brought out a host of household names including comedian Eddie Kadie, beautiful actress Caroline Chikezie and National Television Award winner Khali Best to name a few. These guests stayed on until the early hours of the morning with a great after party that allowed industry folk and fans alike to mingle, network and generally have a good time!

The Method of Love makes its online debut on Friday 14th February so make sure to check it out!

Twitter: @MethodofLove

Some pictures from last night 🙂

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