|CHERISH THE DAYAVA DUVERNAY|
As famed sociologist Hugh Mackay once said: “Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes are uncertain. People are irrational.” That quote is a tidy summation of Ava DuVernay’s new anthology series “Cherish the Day,” which premieres February 11 on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.
It relies on one of the oldest and most basic romantic tropes: boy meets girl; boy loses girl; boy regains girl. Details vary, but those are the major narrative beats.
What’s different about this one is that it’s not some fanciful fairytale, but rather a realistic, intuitive and sympathetic observation of a relationship as it evolves over several years, with characters that are fully realized, complex creatures.
Ultimately, its message seems to be that romantic love is far more complicated than anything depicted in the typical Hollywood romcom.
“Cherish the Day” chronicles the evolving relationship of one couple, with each episode spanning a single day in their lives. This season is led by Xosha Roquemore as Gently James, and Alano Miller as Evan Fisher. Set in Los Angeles, the full chapter spans five years, and unfolds over eight episodes. The first four were made available to press.
Evan meets Gently during an altercation at their local library, and they proceed to fall madly in love with each other. Theirs is primarily a meeting of the minds — our most erotic organs. A sexual attraction is certainly present between them, but DuVernay handles it gently, with patience. It’s a series more interested with being delicate and true to life.
Around the way girl and thrift store shopper Gently James is a free spirit who doesn’t trust easily, and is therefore guarded. She hides behind a seeming confidence and strength — as well as a stubbornness — which may initially be off-putting. But it quickly becomes clear that behind the facade lies certain fears and insecurities. She’s afraid to be vulnerable, but she’s undeniably drawn to Evan.
Straightlaced Evan Fisher is an all-around good guy from an upper-crust family who is maybe a little too sweet for his own good. He’s honest, earnest, and does everything by the book. He went to Stanford University, has a great job, drives a Tesla, and typically dates Ivy League-educated women from similar backgrounds. He’s a family man with very traditional values, who knows what he wants: Gently James. And he’s willing to work for it.
At first, it would seem that there’s plenty standing between each person’s ideal version of romantic bliss, and that these two who have little in common shouldn’t dare traverse any path towards romance. Alas, one of nature’s cruel jokes states that many of us will find ourselves attracted to people who are very much unlike who we are. If...
As a way to keep audiences enlightened and entertained during social distancing and quarantine, Ava DuVernay’s Array will launch #ArrayMatinee on April 1. The new weekly digital film series will include independent films from Array Releasing’s roster of global features.
Every subsequent Wednesday after April 1, Array will showcase five films from their slate. Viewers and cinephiles will be able to “watch and tweet” to engage and connect with each other — while using the #ArrayMatinee hashtag of course.
Below you can read more about the films that will be featured in the #ArrayMatinee film series.
AYANDA South Africa – April 1, 1PM PST Vimeo
After tragedy strikes, a young woman begins a journey of self-discovery as she struggles to save her father's car repair shop along with her memory of him. Ayanda is a coming-of-age story from writer/director Sara Blecher that takes us into a vibrant Johannesburg community alive with love and humor, risk and reward, tragedy and triumph. This film held its world premiere screening at the 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival winning the Special Jury Prize in the World Fiction Competition.
OUT OF MY HAND Liberia — April 15, 1PM PST Vimeo
Directed by Takeshi Fukunaga, Out of My Hand takes viewers inside the humble life of Liberian rubber plantation worker Cisco. Severe working conditions, failed unionization and corporate corruption ultimately drive him away from his family and his country to the foreign streets of New York City where his past forces him to confront his sense of isolation and belonging. This film debuted in the Panorama Section of the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival.
THE HOUSE ON COCO ROAD Grenada — April 22, 1PM PST Netflix
The House on Coco Road is an intimate documentary exploration of heritage and history against the backdrop of a brewing Afro-centric revolution as the U.S. government prepares to invade the island nation of Grenada. First-hand accounts from activists Angela Davis, Fania Davis and Fannie Haughton weave together director Damani Baker's family portrait of utopian dreams, resistance and civil unrest with a film score composed by music luminary Meshell Ndegeocello. The film held its world premiere at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival.
VAYA South Africa — May 6, 1PM PST Netflix
In filmmaker Akin Omotoso’s Vaya, the title is a phrase spoken in South African townships meaning “to go.” Vaya takes viewers along on a journey of three young South Africans who travel away from their rural homes on a train bound for Johannesburg. Stirring and suspenseful, the intertwining stories of these naive strangers as they struggle to survive culminates in an explosive moment not soon forgotten. Based on real accounts, Vaya...