Archive for the ‘Review’ Category

Some of you may know I recently went to see the Scottsboro Boys (musical) at the Vineyard Theatre here in […]

I just watched Precious, Lee Daniel’s film based on the novel Push by Sapphire, and the only way I can find to describe it is extraordinary in the superlative and literal sense. Extraordinary, in the superlative sense, for its craftsmanship in visually and textually telling a narrative of the composite character Precious. It is extra-ordinary (beyond ordinary), in the literal sense, in that it concentrates on a particular set of lives ravished by sexual abuse, physical abuse, and poverty. This is not the tale of all in poverty, but it is a tale that exists.

I thoroughly enjoyed New Muslim Cool for its careful treatment of Hamza who beautifully embodies two of the most powerful social forces of the past 30 years: Hip-Hop and Islam. As a child of Hip-Hop and an admirer of Islam, I was pleased to see that the “new muslim cool” may just be the maturation of the old muslim cool.

So I had no intention of writing a review of the new movie on Biggie, Notorious, but the reviews that I’ve been reading have left me with no choice. I will keep my comments brief and give you the punchline upfront. The movie sucks, if you have ten dollars I can think of plenty of other things to spend it on. In fact, if you were going to take someone else, you two can put your money together and get two snuggies … they even come with a free reading light. As a fan of the man and the music, this movie fell short from start to finish. When the movie ended I wanted to leave and put on a Mister Cee Mixtape like the ” Best of Biggie” to cleanse my eyes and ears of the visual catastrophe that should be called “The Worst of Biggie.”

Recently, I had the chance to check out one of my brothers weave his craft in the city. Marc Bamuthi Joseph is the truth. Read that again, the man is the truth! I have been familiar with Bamuthi’s musings and deeds since the mid-90s but his recent show The Break/s: A dream journal presented as a mixtape for stage, which headlined the Hip Hop Theater Festival demonstrates not only that he’s a great performer but that he is beautifully human. The battle for balance and transformation are beautifully captured in Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s piece The Break/s, more so than any other performance piece I’ve seen in years. Check it out at LOCATION until Saturday (1/18) in NYC at the New York Public Theater with Under the Radar or catch him on the road as he brings The Break/s to the nation.

The term revolutionary is often batted about and is bestowed upon most anyone who finds their ideas falling to the left of the political mainstream. For that reason we have more coffee shop revolutionaries than I can shake a vegan biscotti at! Now I don’t mean that as pot-shot against coffee shop poets (okay, well maybe I did a mean it a little) but really its about the question, “What does it take to be revolutionary?” I was left deeply reflecting on that after watching Che.

The campaign and victory of Barack Obama were historic. In leading up the election I received a text that said, “Rosa sat so Martin could walk, Martin walked so Obama could run, Obama ran so our children can fly!” This message, while inspirational, demonstrates the ways that one of the most historic and powerful presidential runs ever gets looked over, if not just downright ignored. In 1972, the campaign of Shirley Chisholm broke both the gender and race barrier in American presidential politics, but her campaign is still relatively unknown. Let me start this with an admission, I knew thatChisholm ran in 1972 but I had no idea about the discourse she pushed, assassination attempts, and what was certainly more than a symbolic run. After watching Chisholm 72- Unbossed and Unbought, I was amazed at her vision, inspired by her bravery, and humbled by the ways we leave her out of history. That is a living example of why we need herstory, particularly within the Black community.

Idlewild Review

August 24, 2006 · 12 Comments

Making films is hard. Making hip-hop films is harder. Making a film that plays with time and space is something […]