TIFF22 REVIEW: The Blackening [2022]

Probably runs on racism. The original short directed by Chioke Nassor asked a group of Black friends to choose who amongst them was the “blackest” as a sacrifice to save the rest. Why? Because the killer got confused when starting his spree due to his inability to find the “Black character” his trope-fueled brain demanded as its first victim. Hilarity ensues as everyone desperately tries erasing said blackness to keep breathing, revealing embarrassing (and some unforgivable) secrets along the way. It’s an ingenious conceit for a satire that’s perfectly suited…

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REVIEW: The Way Back [2020]

I don’t think I can help you. This isn’t a sports movie. While a lot of similar films (troubled adult is asked to coach a bunch of troubled kids en route to everyone finding an identity and purpose they couldn’t before) do try to distance themselves from that stigma, The Way Back seems intentionally built upon this separation. When all is said and done, there’s barely any basketball on-screen at all besides close-ups showing a full press defense and practices showing player strengths and weaknesses. The bulk of the games…

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REVIEW: High Flying Bird [2019]

I love the Lord and all his Black people. A film like Steven Soderbergh‘s High Flying Bird is exactly what the Netflix model makes possible. You could even say the whole thing is a metaphor for the streaming service’s desire for a seat at the cinematic table. They’re a disruptor proving that what they offer is more valuable to the industry than the industry is to them. The theaters need content to stay in business, but the content makers no longer need theaters to screen to the public. The dynamic…

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